Seeks Li­oli exit

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Moorosi Tsiane

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.

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