Stay at Matlama
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.”