New look Likuena

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Mikia Kalati

In­terim na­tional team coach, moses maliehe, yes­ter­day an­nounced a new-look squad to face the Seychelles in the 2017 Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fiers sched­uled for 25 and 29 march.

Li­oli’s Ba­sia makepe, Jerry Kamela and tšoanelo Koe­tle along­side Bantu’s Hlom­pho Kalake and the mat­lama duo of Jane tha­ban­tšo and Ke­fuoe mahula are the only sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the team that last played a com­pet­i­tive match for the na­tional side un­der for­mer coach, Seep­hephe matete, who was sacked in Oc­to­ber last year.

Le­sotho have al­ready lost their two open­ing qual­i­fiers away to Ethiopia and at home to group-lead­ers, Al­ge­ria.

How­ever, maliehe says he has not given up on qual­i­fy­ing for the tour­na­ment and be­lieves his side could still make it as one of the best run­ners-up, pro­vided they do well in their re­main­ing games.

ex­plain­ing his se­lec­tion, maliehe said he had mostly picked play­ers he worked with when he was na­tional un­der-20 team coach be­cause of “con­ti­nu­ity”.

“th­ese boys de­serve a chance to con­tinue where they have left off in the ju­nior na­tional team. most of them have al­ready played at se­nior team level and I’m giv­ing them a chance to show what they can do play­ing at the high­est level on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” maliehe said.

“What is im­por­tant is for them to ex­hibit the same hunger that they have shown at club level be­cause we have to do well in the up­com­ing two matches to have a re­al­is­tic chance of qual­i­fy­ing for the tour­na­ment.”

the Likuena men­tor also said he made late changes to the squad due to in­juries, with nkesi rankhasa of mat­lama re­plac­ing mkhwanazi mot­lomelo of Sun­dawana while tumelo Khut­lang took the place of thabo Seakhoa of LCS.

maliehe has also re­called Amer­ica-based Jane ‘Sunny’ tšotleho. the 24-year-old last played for the na­tional team at the re­gional Cosafa tour­na­ment held in South Africa in July last year.

“We have been work­ing with this group since De­cem­ber last year. We held a week­long train­ing camp to as­sess them so we are sat­is­fied with the se­lec­tion,” said Maliehe.

“the ball is in their court to show the coun­try what they can do be­cause some of them have al­ways been knock­ing on the door, but not suc­ceed­ing to make the fi­nal cut.

“Un­for­tu­nately for Seakhoa and mot­lomelo, they were left out be­cause of in­juries.”

Ac­cord­ing to maliehe, the play­ers go into full camp on mon­day next week.

“We will start full camp on mon­day with tšotleho the last player to ar­rive due to the fact that he plays in the US and his team has agreed to re­lease him at a later stage of our camp,” he said.

Li­oli dom­i­nate the squad with eight play­ers while mat­lama and Bantu have three and two re­spec­tively.

Full squad Goal­keep­ers: Daniel Jousse (LCS), Lite­boho mokhehle (Li­oli)

De­fend­ers: Kopano tseka, Ba­sia makepe, Bokang Sello, mafa more­mo­holo (all Li­oli), nkesi rankhasa (mat­lama), Spir­it­ing mal- efane (Bantu).

Mid­field­ers: Jerry Kamela, tšoanelo Koe­tle, ‘mon­toeli Sonopo (all Li­oli), Hlom­pho Kalake (Bantu), Ke­fuoe mahula, Jane tha­ban­tšo (both mat­lama), Jane ‘Sunny’ tšotleho,

Strik­ers: mot­lalepula Cha­beli, thabiso Brown (both Kick­4life), Lehlomela ram­a­bele (Likhopo), tumelo Khut­lang (Li­oli).

‘Mon­toeli Sonopo

Bokang Sello

Lehlomela ram­a­bele

nkesi rankhasa

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