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Coach backs Khutlang for award


Sandawana midfielder Tumelo Khutlang,right
Sandawana midfielder Tumelo Khutlang,right

…as football fraternity anxiously awaits premier league awards ceremony

Moorosi Tsiane

Sundawana coach Lehlohonolo ‘Freese’ Ntene has backed his attacking midfielder Tumelo Khutlang following complaints by fans that he should not have been shortlisted for the 2014/15 Vodacom Premier League Young Player of the Season award.

The former Likhopo player, who has won the accolade for two successive seasons, has been nominated for the same gong once—a decision that has not been received too kindly by some supporters who believe he did not have a good campaign to warrant the nomination.

Khutlang would be competing against Bantu midfielder Hlompho Kalake and LCS forward Thabo Seakhoa for the M2000 prize.

However, Ntene told the Sunday Express it was unfortunate Khutlang plays for a team that does not get much media coverage, hence fans’ ignorance about his talent.

“I have no doubt that he deserves the nomination because he was one of the most outstanding players in my team and I am tipping him for the award,” Ntene said.

“Khutlang was the pillar of strength for Sundawana; our play was always built around him and at his age, you have to understand that he has to be exceptionally talented to do what he does; to have such an influence on the team.”

However, Ntene said winning the award would not be easy for his player due to the competition he faces in Seakhoa and Kalake.

“It is not going to be easy for him to walk away with the prize for the third time in a row because he is competing against the best. I was not surprised to see Kalake in national team colours and Seakhoa is also a very good and dangerous player who deserves recognition for his effort,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lioli midfielder Jeremea Kamela, who is one of three players nominated for the player of the season award, said clinching the accolade would be a dream come true for him. The Likuena playmaker would be up against teammate Tšoanelo Koetle and Bantu forward Litšepe Marabe for the M2000 prize.

“This has been a very long and tough season for us, but we have all been working hard to see Lioli where it is today. On my part, I believe I did the best I could for the team so getting the award would not be a surprise to me; in fact, it would be a dream come true.

“Footballers do not just go out there on the park to play, but be champions. It is every player’s dream to win something to look back at with pride when his playing days are over and being nominated is, in itself, an achievement for me and winning the award would icing on the cake,” Kamela said.

Kamela, who has completed his second season in the maroon-and-gold colours of Lioli after joining the Teyateyaneng-based outfit from Joy at the start of the 2013/14 season, revealed he was inspired by last season’s winner Mabuti Potloane, who was then with Linare but has since moved to Matlama.

“What a lot of people don’t know is Mabuti, who won the same award last season, is one of the people who inspire me, so I would like to follow in his footsteps as we also play together in the national team.”

The versatile left-footer, who is equally at home in defence as he is in midfield, however, noted the most important thing for him was helping Lioli win the league title in the just-ended season.

“The fact that I have been able to play in those many positions says a lot about me and is proof that at least, the coaches believe in me. This trust makes me want to do more for the team, and in addition to hard work, I believe being disciplined also helped me improve my game.”

Meanwhile, according to Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) general manager, Baitsi Motsamai, the awards ceremony would be held at Maseru Sun on 25 June.


Player of the season (prize-M2000): Jeremea Kamela (Lioli), Litšepe Marabe (Bantu), Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli).

Young Player of the season (prize-M2000): Tumelo Khutlang (Sundawana), Thabo Seakhoa (LCS), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu).

Coach of the season (prize M2000): Motlatsi Shale (Bantu), Mosholu Mokhothu ( Lioli), Bob Mafoso (Likila United).

Player’s Player of the Season (prize M2000): Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Liteboho Mokhehle (Lioli), Litšepe Marabe (Bantu).

Goalkeeper of the season: (prize M2000): Kholuoe Phasumane (Bantu), Liteboho Mokhehle (Lioli), Daniel Jousse (LCS).

Other categories (prize M1000): Top goalscorer, Referee of the season, Assistant referee of the season, Fair Play team of the season, Radio, TV and Print journalist of the season.





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