Seeks Lioli exit
LIOLI midfielder Thuso Shuping wants out of the premier league champions just six months after joining the Teyateyanengbased outfit.
The left-footed South African joined Tse Nala from Likhopo at the start of the season on a three-year-deal but it appears his stay in TY would end sooner than expected.
After playing lower league football in his homeland for years, Shuping was invited for trials at South African premier league side Free State Stars last year where he met Likhopo’s Thapelo Tale who was also trying his luck at the club. That meeting was to result in a move to Likhopo for the 26-year-old talented midfielder, where he excelled, leading to a dream move to Lioli.
However, halfway through the season, Shuping wants to leave the four-time league champions.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times from his home in Thaba-nchu in the Free State, Shuping said he was only waiting for the team to return for training on 4 January and hear if management could give him his clearance.
“We are still on Christmas break now, and I am at home with friends and family. In fact, I am trying to forget about football for a while.
“I will have to wait until January so that we can discuss my issue with Lioli and hear if they are going to release me like they have said,” Shuping said on Monday.
The lanky midfielder said his stay at Lioli had not been what he expected.
“It has not been easy at all; there have been too many challenges that I cannot talk about here but I think leaving will be the best move for me,” he said.
Shuping played nine league of Lioli’s 13 league matches and scored once on debut as Lioli beat Sundawana 3-0.
With Lioli top of the 14-team table midway into the season, Shuping still wants to quit the club.
“I don’t have any team that has approached me personally at the moment, but what I know is there have been inquiries about my services from several clubs.
“And at the moment, I just want to leave Lesotho, and then think about my next move while here at home,” said Shuping.
Asked what could be the reason behind Shuping’s misery at the club, Lioli president Lebohang Thotanyana on Monday said he was not aware of the midfielder’s desire to leave.
“I am actually at Or Tambo Airport as we speak on my way from Mauritius so I am not aware of such news but I will get in touch with the coaches and management to hear if there is anything like that,” Thotanyana said.
Thotanyana, who is also Mines Minister, however said a South African team he would not reveal, once inquired about Shuping but never made any follow-up.
“There was a team from South Africa that once asked about his services but there is nothing concrete to talk about in that because there was no follow-up,” he said.
Thotanyana also said Lioli were not expected to release any players in the January transfer window because of the team’s hectic scheduled in the new year.
“All our players are still under contract and I don’t think we will be releasing any during this transfer window period.
“But if it happens, it will be for the good of both the player and the team. Players always get approached by teams and it’s not uncommon if Shuping has been promised good offers somewhere else but he will have to come and let the team know.
“That’s just the nature of the business; players will always come and go and we can’t stand in their way if they feel they want to go and explore.”
Thotanyana pointed out Lioli’s tough journey ahead as the team would be competing in the Top8, CAF Champions League and also trying to defend their league title, hence management’s determination to keep their players.
“We are aware of the tough assignments ahead of us and fortunately, we have a big pool of quality players. We are going to do everything in our power, as management, to make sure that the team is in the right shape even if it means boosting our squad. The technical team will also be attending a one-day workshop before the second round of the season resumes (next month) just to assess their first-round work.”
The former premier league president said management’s major concern is fatigue among key players as most of them have been playing without adequate rest for the past four years as they are also in the national team.
“The core of our squad is in the national team and they have started to show some signs of fatigue because they have not been resting for the past three or four years. That is cause for concern if we are to do well in all the competitions we are in,” said Thotanyana.