FORMER Bantu head coach, James Madidilani is happy to be working in his home country South Africa, but has not ruled out the possibilities of returning to coach in the Mountain Kingdom country in the future.
April 5, 2022
2 min read
Madidilani reflects on time coaching in Lesotho
Coach James Madidilani
- He is the Technical Director of Spear of the Nation from Eastern Cape
- Madidilani enjoyed back-to-back league titles during his time in the kingdom
Metro Radio Podcast
Catch our weekly audio broadcast every Friday only on Metro Radio Podcast News.listen now
The former SA’s national Under-23 captain, who has also played for the likes of Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United, was recently linked with a return to A Matšo Matebele and admits that Lesotho remains close to his heart.
The 36-year-old was recently appointed as the Technical Director of Spear of the Nation from Eastern Cape, which campaigns in the South African third tier league, ABC Motsepe League.
“I’m still working in South Africa now and I won’t say I’m done with coaching in Lesotho. There is still a long way to go for me to improve my coaching skills,” Madidilani says.
The Free State-born mentor enjoyed back-to-back league titles during his time in the kingdom and helped Bantu get past the preliminary round of the CAF Champions, becoming the first Lesotho side to do so in over two decades.
“Coaching in Lesotho helped me become the coach that I am today even though there is still a lot to learn, but I can say, my coaching career was established in Lesotho,” the former Bantu coach states.
“We created a lot of memories with Bantu and there are a few that I can single out like the first year playing in the CAF Champions League, where we were drawn against Mbababe Swallows of Eswatini.
Enjoy our daily newsletter from today
Access exclusive newsletters, along with previews of new media releases.
“They beat us 4-2 at Setsoto Stadium and we nearly recorded the biggest comeback in the second leg winning 3-1 in their backyard but failed to qualify for the next round. No one gave us a chance of that comeback,” he recalls.
Madidilane, who also managed to get his CAF B license during his time working in Lesotho, says being roped in as the Likuena assistant coach for COSAFA Cup in 2019, remains one of the biggest achievements of his young coaching career.
“In our second year in the CAF Champions League, we eliminated the Township Rollers of Botswana to make it past the group stage of the tournament and that was massive for football in Lesotho,” says Madidilani.
A Matšo Matebele became the first Lesotho side since LDF in 2002, to get past the group phase of the prestigious continental club competition.
“I cannot forget the opportunity to work with the Lesotho national team as the assistant coach. That was a very big opportunity for me as a coach, which I will cherish for the rest of my life,” he says.