Khut­lang rar­ing to go

. . . New Li­oli sign­ing says he can’t wait for the sea­son to be­gin

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati


“Team­work is an im­por­tant as­pect of this event so the chal­lenge is not all about per­for­mance.

“Of-course, there will be win­ners but we also tar­get be­gin­ners with lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence on phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.”

sch­midt, who is the founder of Li­oli’s latest ac­qui­si­tion, Tumelo ‘Makhopo’ Khut­lang, is rar­ing to go and hop­ing for a fruit­ful stay at the Tey­ateya­neng out­fit where he has signed a three-year con­tract.

The two-time Vo­da­com Premier League Young-player-of-the-sea­son is con­fi­dent of re­dis­cov­er­ing his best form fol­low­ing his high-pro­file move from Sun­dawana to Tse Nala last week.

The 20-year-old re­vealed he also held talks with Bantu, but even­tu­ally set­tled for the de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons.

“Af­ter my con­tract with sun­dawana ex­pired on Fri­day last week, i had sev­eral op­tions, among them go­ing to Bantu, but at the end, i felt Li­oli were the right team for me,” said the tal­ented midfielder.

Khut­lang, who be­gan his topflight football ca­reer at Likhopo be­fore mov­ing to sun­dawana last sea­son, said his game suf­fered at sun­dawana be­cause of “the too many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties” he car­ried at the Butha-buthe out­fit.

it was this “bur­den”, he added, which re­sulted in his fail­ure to win the young-playerof-the-sea­son award for the third time in a row last term.

Bantu’s hlom­pho Kalake won the cov­eted award in­stead and Khut­lang be­lieves he could be the men­ace he was when he won the premier­ship ac­co­lade while with Likhopo in 2012/13 and 2013/14.

“A lot of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties were put on my shoul­ders at sun­dawana and i feel it af­fected my per­for­mance, but now i have joined the cham­pi­ons and will be sur­rounded by qual­ity play­ers who will make me a bet­ter foot­baller.”

The young­ster, who had un­suc­cess­ful tri­als at south African premier league side Moroka swal­lows last sea­son, how­ever, said he still had the am­bi­tion to play football out­side the coun­try.

“swal­lows in­vited me for tri­als last year, but un­for­tu­nately, they did not sign me.

“They were im­pressed with what they saw on the pitch, but i failed med­i­cal tests as my heart­beat was not nor­mal while i also had a knee in­jury.”

The gifted at­tack­ing midfielder said the ab­nor­mal heart­beat gave him a scare as it was not the first time he had ex­pe­ri­enced the prob­lem while un­der­go­ing med­i­cals.

“i be­lieve play­ing for Li­oli will help me im­prove and pos­si­bly re­alise my dream of play­ing out­side the coun­try.”

Khut­lang also said he had shifted fo­cus to win­ning tro­phies with Li­oli — a club renowned for col­lect­ing sil­ver­ware al­most most ev­ery sea­son.

Khut­lang fur­ther said aid he had been wel­comed el­comed at Li­oli and nd was en­joy­ingg work­ing un­der er coach Mosholu ‘shoes’hoes’ Mokhothu.

“i am hop­ing to im­prove rove my game here and help elp the team re­tain the league ague ti­tle as well as do­ingg well in the African Cham­pi­ons ham­pi­ons League next year.” ear.”

The midfielder also took time me to talk about his re­cent nt dis­missal from the na­tional ational team over dis­ci­plinary inary is­sues.

“i ad­mit i was wrong to ar­rive late for na­tional onal team camp. The he thing is, we e were given a chance to go home ome af­ter play­ingg Botswana in the he first leg of the 2016 African Na­tions ations Cham­pi­onship (CHAN) qual­i­fier. er.

“Un­for­tu­nately, i came back a day late as s i had vis­ited my grand­par­ents who live ve out­side Maseru. i didn’t re­port back forr camp late de­lib­er­ately and have since apol­o­gised pol­o­gised to the coach.

“i wouldn’t in­ten­tion­ally mess-up the chance hance to play for my coun­try as it had been een a dream-come-true to be called-up in the first place. “Right now, i’m work­ing hard here at Li­oli so that i can win back my place in the na­tional team. it was a real priv­i­lege to wear the colours of my coun­try, which is why i am say­ing re­turn­ing to camp late was not de­lib­er­ate on my part.”

Tumelo Khut­lang

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