Lesotho reform their national team after two years

By Mark GleesonCape Town
Lesotho flag
Lesotho are reforming their national team after two years

Lesotho are reforming their senior national team and have appointed a new coach to lead the squad.

Leslie Notsi will take charge of the team, which was axed two years ago after a run of disappointing results.

Lesotho did not enter the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, focusing instead on its youth team.

The youngsters earned a place at the African Youth Championships and now Lesotho want to bring them into a revamped senior side.

Notsi, who was the coach of that under-20 side, has now been promoted to the seniors and his first assignment is set to be the opening qualifying round of the 2014 World Cup preliminaries in November.

The draw is being made in Brazil at the end of this month.

Lesotho have not won a match since March 2007 and slipped down to 178 in the world after their two year exile.

They were as high as 120th just eight years ago.

But the juniors made it to the best eight in Africa earlier this year and have given much hope for stronger performances in the future.

Lesotho are expected to build the nucleus of their new national side around the U20 team, plus three overseas-based players - Bokang Mothoane, Bushy Moletsane and the teenage sensation Montoeli Sonopo, who has just won a dream move to the Spanish club Atletico Madrid.

Mothoane has just helped US Monastir win promotion back to Ligue 1 in Tunisia while Moletsane plays his club soccer in nearby Botswana.

Lesotho's best known footballer Lehlohonolo Seema was on the books of South African champions Orlando Pirates but has not played for two season because of a serious knee injury.