Maliehe recalls trio
National team coach Moses Maliehe has recalled Matlama playmaker Mabuti Potloane, LMPS midfielder Tšepo Seturumane and Lioli hitman Tšepo Lekhooana for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) penultimate qualifier against Ethiopia set for June.
Maliehe has also called-up Matlama goalkeeper, Makhetha thakeli, who was part of Likuena under former coach Seephephe Matete, but is yet to debut for the national team, and dropped likhopo striker Lehlomela Ramabele from his squad.
Potloane has not played for Likuena since August last year when he was injured in Lesotho’s opening Nations Cup Group J campaign against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, while lekhooana makes a return to the national team after almost a year out due to a broken leg.
For the last month’s back-to-back Afcon matches against the Seychelles which ended in a 2-0 away loss and 2-1 home win, Maliehe used a relatively new and young team.
“i have to assess these players and those who played against the Seychelles last month, so the door is still open for any player who performs well at club level,” Maliehe said this week.
Explaining the changes to the squad, Maliehe says he needs experienced players who can hold their own against an experienced Ethiopian side that held group leaders Algeria to a 3-3 draw at home in their last match.
“Potloane has been doing very well for his club since he recovered from injury and we will need his experience in midfield, but like i said, every player must prove he deserves to be in the national team,” said Maliehe.
“As for Lekhooana, he is a big striker who has always done very well for the national team and i was impressed with what i saw when he was playing against Likhopo on Sunday although he still has a lot of work in getting his fitness back after a long injury layoff.
“We all know about Seturumane and his quality, but he has not been the same player he was last year and i hope he will raise his game even more because he is a very talented player.
“We also needed to reinforce our goalkeeping department with somebody who can give us better height compared to what we have in the team already.
“However, we will assess all the players to see if they are giving us what we want before considering any more changes for the Ethiopia match.”
Goalkeepers: Daniel Jousse (LCS), Liteboho Mokhehle (Lioli), Makhetha Thakeli (Matlama).
Defenders: Kopano tseka, Basia Makepe, Bokang Sello, Mafa Moremoholo (all Lioli), Nkesi Rankhasa (Matlama), Spiriting Malefane (Bantu).
Midfielders: Jerry Kamela, Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Kefuoe Mahula, Jane Thabantšo, Mabuti Potloane, Phafa Tšosane (all Matlama), Jane ‘Sunny’ Tšotleho (Richmond Kicker, US), Tšepo Seturumane (LMPS).
Strikers: Motlalepula Chabeli, Thabiso Brown (both Kick4life, Tumelo Khutlang, Tšepo Lekhooana (both Lioli).