Uphill task for Mehalalitoe
LESOTHO’S women’s national football team faces an uphill task in next month’s Confederation of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Cup from 13 to 24 September in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe after being drawn in Group C alongside powerhouses, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
Affectionately known as Mehalalitoe, the national team will begin their campaign against South Africa’s Banyana Banyana on 14 September.
Two days later, the Monaheng Montšo-coached outfit will play Botswana before rounding off the group stages against Namibia on 1U September.
Montšo recently told this publication that although it was not an easy draw, they would do everything in their power to advance to the next stage.
He said they had lined up some friendlies to fine tune their preparations before departing for Zimbabwe on 11 September.
“We have started preparations but some of our players have not reported for training due to work commitments,” Montšo said, adding, “We have written to their bosses and we hope they will join us next week”.
“We have a friendly against Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies team on Sunday (today) and we will play Banyana this weekend in Johannesburg, South Africa.”
Montšo said the local Women’s Super League had improved the competition which was good for the national team.
“The women’s league is very helpful because the players are in good condition and the competition is there so it makes our job easier.”
Group A consists of hosts Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar and Malawi while Group B is made up of guests, henya, Mauritius, Mozambique and Swaziland.
Mehalalitoe squad: Goalkeepers:
Mosilinyane Lefaphane (kick4Life), Thato Maifo (LDF), Boitumelo Nkeane (Sky Battalion)
Hlompho Ramalefane (Rovers), Rethabile Ntobo (hick4Life), Mosili Motsoeneng Lerato h’heme, Nkotso Mapota (LDF), MAcheche Matlamela (Basetsana).
Boitumelo Rabale (Bloemfontein Celtic), Palesa Mpeta, Ntsabeng Peleha (LDF), hefuoe Maka, Thato Sentle, Makobo hepa (hick4Life), Mafusi Phezulu (Basetsana).
Relebohile Akhente, Litseoane Maloro ( ki c k4Li f e ) , hholu Lebak- eng (LDF), Nt e b o h e l e n g Sekake (Berea La- dies).
LIhUENA international, Thapelo ‘Nana’ Tale, has refused to extend his stay with premier league side, hick4Life, saying there are “more important things” in life than football.
Last season, the former Likhopo talisman endured a frustrating six month spell at Lioli before reviving his career at hick4Life.
He had joined Lioli after spending the entire 2014/15 season watching from the stands after falling out with Likhopo.
The stocky striker found the net six times in all competitions for hick4Life.
But the 29-year old recently brewed a shocker after spurning a new offer from the club after the expiry of his contract.
“I am currently at home training on my own and not even thinking about football as I am taking some time off to concentrate on other things,” Tale said.
“I am not at the stage to reveal what I am working on but there are chances that if things go my way I will not go back to football for good.”
The noaling-born striker was part of the Likuena team that lost 3-4 to Zimbabwe at the COSAFA Cup in South Africa in June but missed the CHAN qualifier against Comoros due to injury.
Meanwhile, the 2013/14 premier league top scorer Tsebang Lebata is set to miss the first two months of the season due to work commitments.
The midfielder-cum-striker has not linked up with his Bantu side during the pre-season ahead of their weekend league opener against new boys Sefotha-fotha at Setsoto Stadium.
“I am still with them (Bantu) but I am currently out due to work commitments in nuthing while the team trains in Maseru, so it’s not possible that I join them for training,” Lebata said.
“But my work contract ends in October and it is only then that I will be able to join the team.”
The former Likuena striker said he was determined to return to the starting eleven hence his decision to train with A Division side, nuthing LMPS.
“There are very good players in the (Bantu) team and the competition is already high. So it is not going to be easy for me but I will just have to work hard to regain my place in the team.
“At least the coaches know what I can offer. Taking time off will also help me to heal completely from my knee injury.”
Bantu assistant coach, Bob Mafoso, said although they would miss Lebata, his time away would also help him to completely heal.
“He is a good player and he will be missed. But we got good players during the transfer window so he will have to work even harder when he returns so that he reclaims his position in the team.
“And again he will give us options since he will return in mid-season,” Mafoso concluded.