Al­liance fi­esta at Set­soto

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

FOUR premier league big guns will this week­end fine-tune prepa­ra­tions for the up­com­ing sea­son with the two-day Al­liance Win­ter Chal­lenge slated for Set­soto Sta­dium.

The tour­na­ment gets un­der­way on Satur­day with Mat­lama tak­ing on Sun­dawana, while Li­oli play LCS in the sec­ond semi­fi­nal match of the day. The fi­nal will be held the fol­low­ing day at the same venue.

Mat­lama, LCS and Li­oli are all spon­sored by the in­sur­ance gi­ant, hence their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the tour­na­ment, while Sun­dawana are this year’s guest team.

The win­ners are set to walk away with a tro­phy and gold medals, with a Man of the Match award lined up in all the fix­tures.

A M1 000 prize is also in the offing for out­stand­ing in­di­vid­u­als such as Player of the Tour­na­ment, Top Goal­keeper and Top GoalScorer at the end of the tour­na­ment.

Mat­lama coach, Moses Maliehe, told the Le­sotho Times the Al­liance Win­ter Chal­lenge was part of the team’s pre­sea­son prepa­ra­tions. The 2016/17 premier­ship cam­paign gets un­der­way on 27 Au­gust.

“We wel­come the tour­na­ment be­cause it will help us pre­pare for the new sea­son, as we have al­ready played a few friendly matches,” Maliehe said.

“The com­pe­ti­tion will give us a chance to as­sess our play­ers. We are not ready as yet, and there is still a long way to go.”

Sun­dawana com­mu­ni­ca­tion and mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, Bokang Pha­sumane echoed the sen­ti­ment, say­ing the tour­na­ment would af­ford their new play­ers a plat­form to show­case what they have to of­fer.

“Ev­ery­thing is go­ing ac­cord­ing to plan so far, and the tour­na­ment will give the new play­ers a plat­form to show what they are made of,” Pha­sumane said.

“We have signed two play­ers from Ghana, and one of them is a striker. We want him to re­duce the pres­sure on our top marks­man for last sea­son, Roboama Koloti.”

He said the Butha-buthe-based side had moved on fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of coach, Bob Mafoso, who helped Sun­dawana fin­ish fourth in the last cam­paign.

“We have Ntate Sid­well Mothea and Lepa­nya Borotho who were here last sea­son, and know the cul­ture of this team. So, we have full con­fi­dence in them,” said Pha­sumane.

“As for Koloti, we are not sure of his fit­ness lev­els. He strug­gled with an in­jury while play­ing for the na­tional un­der-20 team. We will soon as­sess his fit­ness lev­els.”

LCS coach Mpitsa Marai said the tour­na­ment had come too early for his side, as they only started their pre-sea­son train­ing three weeks ago.

“We are just three weeks into our pre-sea­son and the fo­cus has been on the fit­ness and con­di­tion­ing of the play­ers,” Marai said.

“How­ever, we will par­tic­i­pate in the tour­na­ment and do our best un­der the cir­cum­stances.

“We have some new play­ers on tri­als at the club, and maybe the tour­na­ment will help us see what they can of­fer.”

For his part, Li­oli coach Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu said win­ning the Al­liance In­sur­ance Win­ter tour­na­ment would be a good start in their league ti­tle de­fence.

“It is al­ways im­por­tant to start the sea­son well. Win­ning this com­pe­ti­tion would boost the con­fi­dence of the play­ers head­ing into the new sea­son,” Mokhothu said.

“So I am look­ing for­ward to it. The tour­na­ment is also a good op­por­tu­nity to en­ter­tain our sup­port­ers.”

li­oli mid­fielder Tšoanelo Koe­tle LCS striker Thabo Seakhoa

Mat­lama mid­fielder Phafa Tšosane Sun­dawana mid­fielder Roboama Koloti

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