“The effort actually works wonders, especially for the individual players. As for the junior teams, it has helped because some of the players emerging from the lower leagues were even selected into Bob’s (fired Makoanyane XI head coach Bob Mafoso) squad,” Kalati explained to this reporter.
But the reality is that out of the possible 40 players Mafoso could have called up into his team, the former coach opted to select only two in the squad that competed in the recently ended 2019 COSAFA Under-20 Cup.
The coach selected a team made up of players from the premier league, a fair share of players who are not regulars for their teams. During the COSAFA tournament Mafoso’s charges put up a dismal showing, claiming a single point out of a possible nine before heading back home.
“I cannot say whether the new rule has helped the national team or not because I did not select many players from the lower division. But it is very good initiative for our country’s development, and it will help our football in the long run,” Mafoso said asked about his views on the rule and his team selection.
The Under-17 national team, Bahlabani, faced similar problems at the close of the past year, humiliated in the first round of the COSAFA Under-17 Cup – failing to salvage even a single point under the guidance of Halemakale Mahlaha, who has since also been fired by LeFA.
In a subsequent LeFA clean-up campaign appearing to purge ineffective national coaches both Mafoso and Mahlaha were axed by the association immediately after their respective competitions.
Mafoso joined Makoanyane XI technical team in 2017 as assistant coach under the then head coach Leslie Notši. They led the squad all the way to the final of the regional COSAFA Championship of that year.
According to Kalati, the football governing body will make a decision about new coaches at an appropriate time as it awaits recommendations from its technical director.