JUST two months after Likuena attacking midfielder, Tšotleho Jane, joined Phnom Penh Crown in the Cambodian premier soccer league, the player has become one of the fan favourites at his new side.
The left footed midfielder joined Phnom from Richmond Kickers in the United States (US) where he has been based ever since he left Lesotho as a 15-year-old.
Sunny, as Jane is popularly known in football circles, has already scored once in four matches for his new side.
Phnom are sitting seventh on the log in Cambodian’s 12 League log with seven points after five matches.
“It has been good since I came here as everything has gone as I had anticipated and I am enjoying it,” Jane said.
“I have only played four games and scored one goal and an assist so far. The relationship with my teammates is good as we all have a common goal to work for one another.
“When I arrived, they made me feel welcome and made my transition easy. The reception has been good and the love from both the players and the supporters is amazing.”
Some parts of Asia have previously been labelled racism territories but the stocky midfielder says he has settled well. He said racism was the last of his worries having moved to the US where he also experienced it at a tender age.
“I have learnt to adapt in different countries and honestly, I do not care much about racism. I faced it when I was young after moving to the US and now I am older and know how to deal with it.
“I am also proud of who I am and how God created me so if anyone does not like that it’s their own problem not mine. When anyone says racial statements to me I just laugh and smile at them because to me it shows that they need help,” Jane said.
He said he was now focused on helping his team to win the league so that they can also book a spot in the Asian Cup. The Cambodian League runs from 5 February to 2 November 2019.
“I want to win the league and every competition with the team. We have a league and one cup competition which is yet to start but if we win the league then it means we will qualify for the Asian cup and that’s the target,” he said.
He said although Phenom are one of the most decorated sides in the country, the Cambodian league is highly competitive and unpredictable.
“The level of competition is really good and the teams are so unpredictable.
“Phenom is one of the decorated teams and playing for them obviously comes with a lot of pressure, because the players and the fans want to win everything that’s on offer.
When we lose our supporters come to the offices the next and express their disappointment.
“You will see it in their eyes that they are torn apart by the loss and that gives you a lot of pressure because every player hates to see their fans looking heartbroken.”
Jane said he is yet to know whether or not his team will release him for the COSAFA tournament that starts later this month.
The tournament that will be held in South Africa commences on 27 May 2018 but Lesotho will start in the quarter finals against Swaziland on 3 June.
“The season is still ongoing here and I am not sure whether or not I will be released for COSAFA since it does not appear on the FIFA calendar,” Jane said.