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Notši wishes Linare the best

He arrived at Linare in October 2022 after spending five years at Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) as technical director.
Although Notši only spent a season and half with Linare, he leaves the team in a much better position than he found them.
The 2022/23 season was probably the club’s best in two decades as Linare put up a valiant fight for the title until the final day, only to come up short against Bantu and finish second.

Despite not achieving their dream title win, Linare’s runners-up finish was still their best performance in the league since they finished third in 2014 and Notši said he looks back with pride at what they were able to do as a team.
Notši, who has also been Lesotho’s caretaker coach since June last year, acknowledged the support of the club’s management and supporters as playing a vital role in the team’s success over the past 12 months.

“I am the one who initiated my exit because I have a lot on my plate; (the decision to leave is) to do with football,” Notši said.
“It was not an easy decision to make and it wasn’t easy to accept on their side as well, but we talked with the club’s leadership and found common ground,” he added.
Notši’s last game in charge was a 1-0 victory over Manonyane last weekend and he leaves Linare seventh on the Vodacom Premier League table with 25 points after 15 games.
“When I look at the role I have been able to play with young players coming through, I am proud. Some are in the national team set-up, some have gone outside the country,” Notši said.

“I am happy to have contributed and I am thankful for the opportunity to have coached Linare. I am thankful for the support from the management, players, and supporters branches,” he added.
Ultimately, Notši’s role with the national team coupled with overseeing a success-thirsty Linare outfit became too much to handle.
Notši said he felt did not have enough time to prepare for league games, especially when Likuena were in action.
Over the past year, Notši has often had to leave for international duty and then return to Linare on match-day without having had a proper session with the team prior to the game to prepare.

He said that might have had an impact on Linare’s performances.
Notši wished the club all the best going forward and said they deserve to get the best.
After finishing second in the Vodacom Premiership last season, Notši said he felt Linare could have been able to end their trophy drought, if they added a quality striker to help the ones they have.

Notši’s next move is unknown, but many in the football fraternity have made pleas for Notši to be given the Likuena job on a permanent basis.
Notši has been part of Lesotho’s technical staff under previous coaches Thabo Senong and Veselin Jelusic and whenever Notši has been called to step in to take charge of the national team, Likuena have always seemed to respond positively to him.
Notši’s departure from Linare has fueled speculation that he could be about to be announced as Likuena’s permanent coach.
However, he would not be drawn on the speculation and insisted the decision rests with LEFA.

“That is something the football leaders, respectfully, have a final say on. I am grateful for the role I am playing currently,” Notši said.
“The little I am doing, I cherish it. I am happy with the support from the (LEFA) secretariat, the players, the groundsmen and the clubs, too, because they support us by releasing the players,” he said.
Notši will continue in his role as Likuena caretaker coach.
Whether or not he gets the gig permanently is what everyone is waiting on, but Notši also did not shut the door on returning to club coaching in the future.

Tlalane Phahla

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