Stay at Mat­lama

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Na­tional team midfielder Mabuti Pot­loane has de­cided to play for Mat­lama next sea­son de­spite at­tempts to lure him back by his for­mer club, Linare.

The tal­ented play­maker told the Le­sotho Times yesterday he had agreed a deal “in prin­ci­ple” to play for the coun­try’s most suc­cess­ful club next sea­son as he is a free agent at lib­erty to join a team of his choice.

Pot­loane spent the sec­ond round of last sea­son on loan at the nine-time league cham­pi­ons where he scored cru­cial goals and en­deared him­self to the club’s hordes of sup­port­ers.

“What I can guar­an­tee you is that I will be play­ing for Mat­lama next sea­son although we are yet to fi­nalise the deal with the club,” Pot­loane said.

“We have al­ready agreed a deal in prin­ci­ple and we just have to sign the pa­pers. So as far as I am con­cerned, there is no un­cer­tainty over my fu­ture; I will be at Mat­lama for the 2015/16 premier league sea­son at least, and that is that.”

How­ever, the 2013/14 Vo­da­com Premier League Player-of-the-sea­son said he was cur­rently fo­cus­ing on his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion af­ter suf­fer­ing a nasty in­jury dur­ing the na­tional team’s (Likuena) 1-2 loss to Ethiopia in June. The match was Le­sotho’s first fix­ture of the 2017 African Na­tions Cup Group J qual­i­fier.

“I started jog­ging again yesterday (Tues­day) and at the mo­ment, I’m work­ing with a phys­io­ther­a­pist as I re­cover from the in­jury,” he said.

The midfielder said he would seek in­ter­ven­tion from the premier league man­age­ment should Linare stand in his way af­ter a Mat­lama of­fi­cial told the Le­sotho Times this week that the Hlotse-based club had de­manded their for­mer cap­tain’s par­tic­u­lars.

Ac­cord­ing to Mat­lama sec­re­tary gen­eral, Thabo Nkhahle, there were “is­sues” re­gard­ing Pot­loane which prompted a meet­ing be­tween the two clubs’ man­age­ment to dis­cuss the mat­ter.

“We re­ceived a let­ter from Linare de­mand­ing the player’s premier league li­cence, but we have since made an ap­point­ment with their man­age­ment so we can dis­cuss the mat­ter,” Nkhahle said.

On his part, Linare public re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Re­filoe Makhobot­loane, said it was true they wanted Pot­loane back and felt the player re- mained d un­der con­tract.

“We went to LEFA (Le­sotho Football As­so­ci­a­tion)on) for clar­i­fi­ca­tion on Pot­loane’s is­sue and d from what we gath­ered, the play­ers still be­longs­longs to us.

“How­ever, wever, we have re­quested a meet­ing with himim and will also meet Mat­lama of­fi­cials to find an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion to this is­sue,” Makhobot­loane said.

“We know Pot­loane was an­gry af­ter he had some dif­fer­ences if­fer­ences with the pre­vi­ous Linare com­mit­tee, tee, which is nor­mal be­cause peo­ple al­ways have dis­agree­ments ev­ery­where.

“How­ever, wever, the sad part is the mat­ter was never re­solved and we sus­pect he does not trust us s any­more.

“But we know that his heart is still here at Linare, which is why we would to meet him and talk k about this.”

Makhobot­loane hobot­loane fur­ther said the club would re­spect Pot­loane’s wish should he de­cide to leave his child­hood club for good.

“He is al­ways welcome to re-join Linare, and we will not stand in his ways if he re­ally wants to leave,” said Makhobot­loane.

“All we want is to mend the re­la­tion­ship be­tween n the club and the player and tell him our dooror will al­ways be open for him as our for­mer cap­tain who was raised at this club.”

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