By Mikia Kalati
MASERU — Star midfielder, Tšoloane Mosakeng, was named Bantu’s Players’ Player of The Year and Player of the Season at an awards ceremony held in Mafeteng on Friday.
The ceremony was held to reward top achievers after a successful season where the club won the Independence Top 4 tournament and ended as league runners-up to Lioli.
Mosakeng, a former Majantja midfielder, faced stiff competition from the duo of Litšepe Marabe and Thapelo Mokhehle who have already left the Mafeteng-based team for greener pastures with South African First Division sides United FC and Maluti FET College respectively.
Masakeng got M2 000 for the awards. Marabe went home with the Top Goal Scorer award pocketing M1 000 while his brother Mokone, walked away with the most improved player award getting himself M500.
Inspirational Bantu captain, Tlali Maile, was another big winner on the day for his good leadership skills and was given the Chairman’s Award walking away with M1 000 while Jeremane Lelia won the Most Disciplined Player’s Award.
A Matšo Matebele also rewarded their outstanding supporters for their continued support.
Former Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Mathabiso Lepono, and former deputy Prime Minister, Lesao Lehohla, were also handed special awards for their continued support in the growth of the club.
Among the dignitaries was Minister of Trade and Industry Temeki Tšolo.
He handed a cheque for M1 000 to a disabled Bantu supporter who he said is forever behind the team despite her disabilities.
The management of Bantu also presented the club’s legend, Lehlohonolo Seema, with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Bantu also presented their new signings ahead of the new season that include former youth international star, Tsebang Lebata, who has been bought from Liphakoe for M30 000. The team’s team manager, Tšeliso Ramatla, announced that it was a struggle for them to get the signature of the talented striker.
“I can tell you that we have been chasing this player for the past two months and luckily in the end we were able to capture his services,” Ramatla said.
He said the new acquisitions have cost the club M75 000.
The other new faces are Mosiuoa Chabeli, Lebohang Chaka, and Chaka Maile who all came from Nyenye Rovers.
They also have Hlompho Kalake who joins from Matlama alongside the duo of Hopolang Mohlalefi who is on loan from Qoaling Highlanders and Relebohile Mohapeloa who was formerly with Majantja.
Bantu president John Leuta thanked the players for their hard work last season.
He pleaded with the supporters to be patient with their players and new coach.
“What I can tell the new players is that a lot will be expected from them, it is only if you show good behaviour to your coaches, this team and its supporters that you will be able to achieve success here,” Leuta said.
He urged the team’s new additions to put their feet on the ground and do their talking on the field of play.
Leuta said his wish is to see Bantu being successful on and off the field.
“I can also tell you that competition is very tough among the teams for the signatures of the best players in the country,” he said.
“We could have got a bigger pool of players, but some players were over-prized,” Leuta said.