Milling firm gives back in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Moorosi Tsiane Mikia Kalati

Mo­hale’s hoek District Foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion (DIFA) vice-pres­i­dent Ntainyane Marabe has hailed le­sotho Flour Mills for stag­ing a suc­cess­ful B Divi­sion eight-team tour­na­ment in their re­gion last week­end.

The two-day Chai soc­cer spec­tac­u­lar was held at Mo­hale’s hoek DIFA sta­dium and bankrolled to the tune of M25 000. The com­pe­ti­tion fea­tured lilalome, liponono, Mo­hale’s hoek Na­tion, hope, Maponyane home De­fend­ers, li­tau, Killers and Morn­ing stars.

Killers beat lilalome 4-2 on penal­ties in the fi­nal to walk away M15 000 richer, while the run­ners-up pock­eted M5000.

“We are very proud of this tour­na­ment; we so wish this could be a con­tin­u­ous event be­cause it would help re­vive the spirit of foot­ball in our district. It is very rare to have B Divi­sion teams play­ing for such amounts of money so this means a lot to us as foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tors, which is why we would like ex­press our grat­i­tude to le­sotho Flour Mills for this ini­tia­tive,” Marabe said.

such big com­pe­ti­tions make it easy for district teams such as Ma­jan­tja to scout for tal­ent, he added.

“I saw coaches from big teams from this district here at the tour­na­ment and that says a lot about the im­por­tance of this event. The truth is the level of com­pe­ti­tion in th­ese tour­na­ments is far much bet­ter than for league matches. That’s why it is much eas­ier to scout for tal­ent here and groom it at your club as most of th­ese teams are com­prised of young­sters,” Marabe said.

“It is a known fact that our teams are strug­gling fi­nan­cially, even at premier league level, and play­ing for such sums of money is re­ally a mo­ti­va­tion for our play­ers. If we can have more of such tour­na­ments, then we can start talk­ing dif­fer­ently about Mo­hale’s hoek foot­ball. We have tal­ent in this district that only needs to be nur­tured.”

on his part, Flour Mills Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Bofihla Neko said the tour­na­ment ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions.

“I must say this is more than we ex­pected. I mean the re­cep­tion we re­ceived here and the sup­port is so amaz­ing. We just hope this tour­na­ment will be bet­ter when we hold it again here in april,” Neko said.

“Be­cause it was our first tour­na­ment, there were chal­lenges here and there but most im­por­tantly, we man­aged to over­come them and en­sure we de­liv­ered as planned.”

Neko said in ad­di­tion to be­ing part of the com­pany’s cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity ini­tia­tive, the tour­na­ment was also used to pro­mote their Chai prod­uct.

“The event is part of our giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity but at the same time, we wanted to pro­mote our Chai brand be­cause we have learnt that there are now too many im­ported maize-meal prod­ucts. so Mo­hale’s hoek was our start­ing point be­cause the tar­get is to cover the en­tire coun­try,” said Neko.

“We will be hold­ing this tour­na­ment twice a year in De­cem­ber and april. Peo­ple should start buy­ing Chai and vote for their teams with the vot­ing cards that are found in those pack­ages for their sides to qual­ify.” Mat­lama and linare go head-to-head at Pitso Ground on satur­day in le­sotho’s old­est foot­ball ri­valry that never fails to pro­duce fire­works.

The two are also the only teams which have never been rel­e­gated from the coun­try’s topflight league, which con­firms their pedi­gree and lofty stand­ing in the le­sotho game.

Tse Put­soa take to the pitch in high spir­its fol­low­ing a hard-fought 1-0 vic­tory over sun­dawana last sun­day, with coach Moses Maliehe telling the Le­sotho Times that his charges were de­ter­mined to do well this sea­son.

“I think we are a work-in-progress, but my boys showed char­ac­ter against a very good sun­dawana side on sun­day,” Maliehe said.

“It is still a long way to go for us and we are work­ing hard to get bet­ter with ev­ery game.”

Maliehe, who is also the na­tional team coach, fur­ther said his charges would play ev­ery match like a Cup fi­nal.

“It was im­por­tant for us to start the sea­son well and I think my play­ers are very keen to help the team suc­ceed this sea­son,” said Maliehe.

“It is a rel­a­tively young squad, but they have big hearts and are mo­ti­vated to make a name for them­selves.

“They are aware that they have a chance in the league ti­tle chal­lenge, but must work hard in ev­ery match if they are to win it.”

Tse Put­soa are now four points be­hind loglead­ers li­oli and can close the gap to three on satur­day as Tse Nala would only be in ac­tion on sun­day.

linare, on the other hand, come into the week­end match af­ter a 2-1 loss to LCS de­spite scor­ing first in that tie.

How­ever, the club’s pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Re­filoe Makhobot­loane, said there were many pos­i­tives to take from the lcs de­feat. The match was also the first for new coach Mot­latsi shale.

“There were a lot of pos­i­tives to be drawn out of that match against lcs, al­though we ended up los­ing the tie,” Makhobot­loane said.

“The team played very well and were the bet­ter side for the bet­ter part of the game. They were only un­lucky to con­cede a late goal, which ten cost us the match.

“I think our boys will give Mat­lama a run for their money on satur­day be­cause we have had a chance to go back to train­ing and work on our weak­nesses.”

Makhobot­loane fur­ther said matches against Mat­lama and linare al­ways pro­duce fire­works and he ex­pects the same en­ter­tain­ment this time around.

Tse Tala beat Mat­lama 3-2 in the first round match to had the nine-time league cham­pi­ons their first de­feat in six matches. That was Linare’s first win of the sea­son and came as a sur­prise to many in the soc­cer fra­ter­nity.

In an­other premier­ship tie set for satur­day, lcs host bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble lmps at lcs Ground.

Mashesh­ena have al­ready col­lected their first three points of the se­cond round of the sea­son, thanks to a late goal from Mo­siuoa Boseka which re­sulted in a 2-1 win over Linare last sun­day.

satur­day’s other match will see strug­gling Rovers host­ing sun­dawana at Mach­abeng Ground in Roma with both teams seek­ing their first wins in 2016 af­ter suf­fer­ing de­feats against Kick­4life and Mat­lama, re­spec­tively, last week­end.

on sun­day, cham­pi­ons li­oli travel to Ratjo­mose Bar­racks to face LDF while Bantu will be away to strug­gling Mphat­lat­sane.

In Sun­day’s other fix­tures, Kick­4life visit Quthing to play liphakoe while lik­ila United host likhopo in Butha-buthe. Full fix­tures Satur­day: lcs v lmps, sun­dawana, Mat­lama v linare.

Sun­day: LDF v li­oli, Mphat­lalat­sane v Bantu, liphakoe v Kick­4life, lik­ila United v FC likhopo.

Rovers

v

Tefo 'Chigo' Maipato scored the win­ner for Likhopo in the 2-1 vic­tory over LDF at LCS Ground on Satur­day.

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