SA clubs chase Likuena stars

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

SOUTH African clubs, Plat­inum Stars and Mthatha Bucks are both eye­ing the ser­vices of Likuena stars in­clud­ing the in-form Li­oli winger Tumelo Khut­lang af­ter their fine dis­plays at the re­cently-ended COSAFA tour­na­ment in Rusten­burg, South Africa.

The Likuena stars im­pressed as Le­sotho im­proved on last year’s show­ing by reach­ing the semi-fi­nals where they nar­rowly lost 3-4 to even­tual cham­pi­ons, Zim­babwe.

A Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion of­fi­cial who was part of the Likuena del­e­ga­tion at the tour­na­ment told the Le­sotho Times that pre­mier­ship side, Plat­inum Stars were im­pressed by Khut­lang and his team­mates, Tšoanelo Koe­tle, Mafa More­mo­holo and Bokang Sello.

The of­fi­cial said South African Na­tional First Di­vi­sion team, Mthatha Bucks were also in­ter­ested in Khut­lang and had made con­tact with him over the player. They now needed to make an of­fer to Li­oli.

Khut­lang played all the three games for Likuena and was voted the Man of the Match in the third and fourth place penalty loss to Tan­za­nia.

The winger along with Koe­tle are also on de­mand lo­cally af­ter Li­oli con­firmed re­ceiv­ing of­fers from bit­ter ri­vals Bantu for their ser­vices.

“It is still early days but the man­age­ment of Plat­inum Stars en­quired about the play­ers say­ing they are in­ter­ested in them,” the of­fi­cial said.

“We told them that all four play­ers be­long to one team and gave them con­tacts to talk to the Li­oli man­age­ment and the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the play­ers.

“As for Khut­lang, Mthatha Bucks are also in­ter­ested and their of­fi­cials have ar­ranged to talk to those that are close to the player.

“These play­ers are hun­gry to play in bet­ter leagues and make a bet­ter liv­ing. I hope their team will not stand in their way.

“The of­fi­cials that ap­proached us about them were very se­ri­ous and they have not stopped call­ing even af­ter we left Rusten­burg,” he said.

Li­oli pres­i­dent, Lebohang Thotanyana also con­firmed they had been ap­proached by South African teams.

“In­deed, we have been ap­proached by South African teams that have shown in­ter­est in our play­ers, but I can­not dis­close the names at this stage,” Thotanyana said.

“We will meet them next week and lis­ten to what they have to of­fer be­fore we can en­gage the play­ers in ne­go­ti­a­tions,” he said.

The Le­sotho Times has also learnt that Thabiso Brown who was be­ing as­sessed by Bloem­fontein Celtic has since left South Africa for tri­als in Bo­livia.

Brown re­quested Celtic that he be per­mit­ted to try his luck in Bo­livia and it is un­likely that a deal will ma­te­ri­alise at the Free State side who have since ap­pointed a new coach from Ser­bia.

The Ser­bian takes over from in­terim coach and for­mer Likuena cap­tain Lehlo­honolo Seema who had rec­om­mended Brown to the club af­ter the striker net­ted 16 league goals in the 2016/17 do­mes­tic cam­paign.

Kick4life Di­rec­tor of Foot­ball, Chris Bul­lock con­firmed that their for­mer striker had re­quested per­mis­sion from Celtic to try his luck in Bo­livia.

Brown is out of con­tract at Kick4life, but will give the club first op­tion to re-sign him if a move out­side the coun­try does not ma­te­ri­alise.

“Seema has in­formed me that he asked for per­mis­sion from Celtic where he was also be­ing as­sessed,” Bul­lock said.

“We have learnt that they were im­pressed with him and we hope they do not close the door on him if it does not work out in Bo­livia,” he said.

Tšoanelo Koe­tle.

Tumelo Khut­lang.

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