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History won’t repeat itself: Maile

Moorosi Tsiane

Bantu captain Tlali Maile says there will be no excuse should his side fail to win the Premier League title this season.
Bantu have never won domestic football’s most prestigious accolade, but since bouncing back into the topflight in 2009/10, the team has clinched the Independence Cup three times in a row from 2011-13.

A Matšo Matebele, as the Mafeteng-based outfit are popularly known, currently top the 14 – team topflight league on 34 points — six ahead of second-placed Lioli, whom they face on March 1 away.

The Motlatsi Shale — coached side have not lost any Premier League match this season, winning 10 and drawing four of their fixtures to put themselves in a strong position for the title.

But after losing the championship to Lioli last term following a lackluster performance towards the end of the season, Bantu are fully aware of the fickle nature of the beautiful game.

Maile, who has been the team’s leading light in their campaign so far, said: “There is no reason why we should not win the league title this season because we have very good players, a very good coach and great support from our fans.
“We lost concentration in the last seven matches last season because we started to undermine our opponents.
“At the end, we threw away matches we were supposed to win and eventually lost the title to Lioli.
“But we will not let the same happen again this season; we learnt a bitter lesson last season and we will not let history repeat itself.”
After losing to Linare in the quarterfinal of the Top 8 tournament early this month, Maile said the defeat helped the players realise they can also be beaten.
“It was a wakeup call for us; we all realised that we need to be completely focused and work hard as we can still be defeated. We have since realised our weaknesses and worked hard to rectify them,” said Maile.

The inspirational defender also said morale among the players remains high, adding: “The spirit is quite high among the boys, and the addition of new players during the January transfer-period means there is more competition for places.
“This is very healthy for the team as everyone knows he has got to be at the top of his game every week, to maintain a regular place in the squad.”

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