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Swallows relish Likhopo test


Chris Theko

Mazenod Swallows will be looking to close the gap between them and their opponents Likhopo, thus making strides to escape the relegation zone, when the two sides meet on Sunday in a Vodacom Premier League (VPL) relegation battle at Nyakosoba. 

With the 2020/21 football season winding to a finish with less than nine games remaining for majority of the teams, the bottom four in the 16-team league are fighting to avoid the exe. 

Swallows goes into the clash siting in 15th position while the Red Army as Likhopo is affectionately known, are sitting a place above on 14th position.

In an interview with Newsday Sport, Swallows Communication and Marketing Manager (CMM) Ralekoala Ralekoala said that their main goal is to avoid relegation.

“We are going into this game with a plan to win in order to avoid possible relegation and the best way to do that is to win every game we are left with,” Ralekoala said. 

He stated that the Mazenod based outfit has had their fair share of financial challenges that saw them struggle a lot in the current campaign. 

Swallows has played 22 games so far managing only two wins, an away 3-0 against Linare in May 2021 and a home 3-1 against Manonyane. They have secured four draws and lost a record 16 games. Equal on 10 points with Swallows is Sefotha-fotha who having played 22 games, won one, drew in seven and lost 14.

Ralekoala mentioned that they have brought in former Lesotho international turned coach Teele TÅ¡onyana to lead the team for the remainder of the season. 

“We have seen our mistakes, now it is time to fix them hence we even went and got the services of one of our own products who is now one of the best coaches in the country in Teele NtÅ¡onyana. 

“He knows our philosophy, he has been one of us as a player and he was born in Mazenod and in our talks with him, he seemed determined to help the team avoid relegation by all means possible,” Ralekoala said.

Ntšonyana officially started his assignment as the Swallows coach last weekend with a 0-1 loss to Manonyane. The Sunday fixture will be his second game in charge of the side where his task is to close the seven-point gap between them and Likhopo thus making strides to leave the zone-of-death.

“So far we have given the coach the mandate to help the team survive relegation then we will talk about the extension of the contract later. Our chances are very high although Likhopo is ahead of us with an arm’s length, but we have a chance to close that gap,” he said.

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