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Bantu target Likhopo trio

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — Bantu look set to make a massive raid on Vodacom Premier League rivals Likhopo by signing three of their star players ahead of next season which kicks off next month.
Bantu who have made their intentions of capturing the league title very clear are after the Likhopo trio of Thabiso Mohapi, Lekhanya Lekhanya and Tšepo George.
Mohapi and Lekhanya are regular members of the Makoanyane XI.
The ambitious side is also said to be chasing after the signature of Matlama’s Litšepe Marabe, who is currently on trials outside the country.
Although Bantu have been coy regarding the reports, the Sunday Express is reliably informed that the three are firmly in the sights of A Matšo Matebele with a view to joining them before the start of the 2011/12 season next month.
Approached for comment on Friday Bantu coach Tšehla Lerotholi played down the transfer talk saying: “I’m not aware of that, I don’t want to comment on rumours.”
However, Lerotholi hinted he would welcome the trio with open arms because “if they do join they will help the team a lot”.
But Likhopo team manager, Qamako Mahao, was more forthcoming. He said he was aware of the reported departures but remained in defiant mood.
“I’ve heard something like that but we are not intending to release a single player from our team from last season,” Mahao told the Sunday Express on Friday.
“They (Mohapi, Lekhanya and George) are still in our plans,” Mahao added.
Likhopo are reportedly unwilling to sell instead they are looking to enhance their team that won the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular last season to claim a league title to add to their championship wins in 2004/5 and 2005/6.
Mahao said they wanted to sign Lioli star Sello ‘Muso and the Bantu duo of Tlali Maile and Likano Teele, all of whom are products of Likhopo’s famed youth system.
“It’s not a secret; we are looking to sign three players, Sello ‘Muso, Tlali Maile and Likano Teele,” he said.
The signings, if completed, will be part of a growing revolution in the Bantu camp which is working at strengthening their squad ahead of yet another term.
Bantu begin their pre-season training tomorrow and are reportedly keen to finalise their team taking into consideration those who are joining or leaving the club.
The club is seeking to win the league this season after finishing a commendable third on the Vodacom Premier League log last season.
Mohapi, who plays in central midfield, has purportedly been identified by Bantu as a
replacement for the talented but ill-disciplined Mangana Maoela.
He is expected to add even more quality to a midfield that already includes national team hopefuls Tefo Maipato and Mosiuoa Boseka.
Lekhanya, meanwhile, is one of the most exciting attacking prospects in the country and his pace, power and skill, would be the perfect fit for Bantu.
The same can be said of left-back George whose sterling performances for the past two seasons on the left side of Likhopo’s defence have made him a target for several top teams including Lioli.
The players are technically able to move for free if they agree terms with other sides after their three-year contracts with Likhopo ended last season.
Bantu also have an advantage because they have received their license from the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) and can register players while Likhopo are still to meet Lefa’s operating requirements.
On top of that, Bantu with their increased financial muscle are said to be offering better packages for players than Likhopo.

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