Likuena need their best play­ers

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

Likuena are in their fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for the Coun­cil of South­ern African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions (Cosafa) tour­na­ment which gets un­der­way in Rusten­burg, South africa, on 17 May.

How­ever, the main con­cern across the lo­cal foot­ball spec­trum is the ex­clu­sion of pre­mier league top-scorer, Litšepe Marabe, who net­ted 22 goals in the just-ended sea­son.

It is also worth not­ing Phafa Tšosane, who was sec­ond be­hind Marabe on the goal-scor­ing charts, will also miss the com­pe­ti­tion due to school com­mit­ments.

The Mat­lama cap­tain found the back of the net 15 times dur­ing the 2014/15 sea­son, and there is no doubt the duo would be in con­tention for the player-of-the-sea­son award as both had out­stand­ing cam­paigns.

This is why it’s a worry for me that the two play­ers are not part of the Cosafa tour­na­ment which will also help Likuena, as the na­tional foot­ball team is af­fec­tion­ately known, pre­pare for the 2017 Africa Cup of na­tions (Af­con) qual­i­fiers that begin in June.

Marabe is an ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paigner who has a ten­dency of de­liv­er­ing at the high­est level both at club and na­tional level, and was go­ing to add qual­ity to Seep­hephe Matete’s team.

But ac­cord­ing to the coach, the player failed to turn-up for train­ing a few weeks ago and the tech­ni­cal team had since de­cided to go to the com­pe­ti­tion with­out him.

How­ever, Matete also says the player could still make the team should he apol­o­gise.

This is not the first and last time that we will ex­pe­ri­ence such is­sues as far as the na­tional team is con- cerned and I’m still hop­ing the mat­ter will be ad­dressed, and Marabe can front the Likuena attack at the Cosafa tour­na­ment.

We all know play­ers have a ten­dency of get­ting big-headed, but at the same time, our foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion should also im­prove the way they treat na­tional team play­ers.

I be­lieve it’s in the in­ter­est of the fed­er­a­tion and na­tional team that the player is called for a hear­ing and the mat­ter re­solved am­i­ca­bly.

The fact that Marabe, who did not play com­pet­i­tive foot­ball through­out the 2013/14 sea­son but still over­came that dis­ap­point­ment by scor­ing so many goals last term, shows he is a spe­cial tal­ent and would have been an im­por­tant mem­ber of the squad head­ing to the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion.

at the same time, i agree with the coach that play­ing for the na­tional team is a priv­i­lege and should be treated with re­spect all the time.

While the coach has said the door is still open for Marabe for as long as he can apol­o­gise, it’s ob­vi­ous he is not in their plans for the Cosafa

event, but I still feel me­di­a­tion is needed to en­sure the is­sue is re­solved as soon as pos­si­ble.

The truth of the mat­ter is Marabe is our best op­tion at the mo­ment as far as attack is con­cerned.

it is worth not­ing Likuena are still with­out Tšepo Se­tu­ru­mane, who was the na­tional team’s top marks­man dur­ing the 2015 af­con qual­i­fiers and ex­pec­ta­tions were Marabe would fill the void left by the Li­oli hit­man.

I feel our strik­ing depart­ment is very thin at the mo­ment, with Thapelo Tale the only fit and ex­pe­ri­enced player in the na­tional team as Li­oli’s Tšepo Lekhooana is also out through in­jury.

While Tale is al­ways giv­ing his best for Likuena, he did not have a very suc­cess­ful 2014/15 pre­mier league cam­paign and strug­gled to score reg­u­larly hence it is im­por­tant to re­solve the Marabe mat­ter as soon as pos­si­ble.

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