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Botsane named Kick4Life player of the season

Moorosi Tsiane

DEBUTANT Tšeliso Botsane was on Friday named Kick4Life 2018/19 player of the season at a glittering event in Maseru on Friday evening.

The youngster joined the Old Europa outfit at the beginning of the season from Sefotha-fotha and he hit the ground running scoring in his debut match to help his side edge Lioli 2-1.

The striker never looked back from that day as he continued to be a valuable member of Bob Mafoso’s team which ended the season on fifth spot and was also named the team’s young player of the season while he also walked away with the top goal scorer with nine goals.

Botsane beat midfielders Paballo Mafeka and Khubetsoana Kamela to win the biggest award on the night.

The players’ player accolade went to another debutant Paballo Mafeka.

The other player who was recognised on the night was the captain Moruti Thamahane, who has been with the team since 2003 when it was still in the A Division and has been capped a record 133 times.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Express Botsane could not hide his joy attributing his success to his hard work and dedication.

“When I first came here, I knew that I had big shoes (that of Nkoto Masoabi) to fill because the person I replaced was a hard worker,” Thamahane said.

“I also worked hard and pushed myself instead of relying on the coaches.”

The Makoanyane XI striker said all his achievements in his first season with Kick4Life which was his second in the Premier League are proof that anything is possible.

“I am very proud of these achievements and happy with my second season in the Premier League. This is all proof that when one is determined enough anything is achievable.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has been supporting me, my family, the technical team and most importantly; my teammates because football is a team sport and I couldn’t have made if it wasn’t for them,” Botsane said.

For his part, Kick4Life coach Bob Mafoso said they had a tough season but thanked his technical team for the hard work to help the team finish fifth, its second best finish since promotion into the elite league in the 2013/14 season.

“We had some rough patches but also had long run of good results notably when we went for eight games unbeaten. We also had a fair share of challenges that include losing two defenders towards the end of January and were left with only four defenders for the remainder of the season.

“While some might be disappointed that we didn’t finish in the top four because there was a chance, it’s also important that we cannot change anything about the past but need to focus on the future. We have leant valuable lessons that will make us a better team next season,” Mafoso said.

Mafoso thanked the management for the support they afforded the side throughout the season.

“To the chairperson (Baba Malephane) and the executive committee thank you very much. Sometimes you made it difficult for us when things were not going our way but that made us dig deeper for solutions and we were never in our comfort zones. Without your support, we wouldn’t be here and we thank you all.

“To the technical team, I appreciate your efforts. There were times when all bad results gave us sleepless nights but you never gave up you and always supported everybody associated with the club.

“To the players, thank you gentlemen for not losing your heads and always showing respect. It is an honour and privilege to be associated with a group of people who are so determined.

“I also thank the supporters who never turned their backs on us when the results were not going our way,” Mafoso concluded.

Winners in all categories:

Top goal scorer – Tseliso Botsane 9 goals-M1000

Young player of the season – Tseliso Botsane-M900

Most Improved player – Tebello Ntene-M900

Players Player – Paballo Mafeka-M1000

Player of the season – Tseliso Botsane-M1000 plus M500 voucher from Econo Foods.

Chairman’s Award – Chris Bullock

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