Mehalalitoe begin preparations for Swazi clash
The national female football team host their Swazi counterparts in a friendly match scheduled for Setsoto Stadium on 15 August, the Sunday Express has learnt.
Mehalalitoe, as the team is affectionately known, last played a competitive match in December 2013 when they lost to Zimbabwe in Harare in the Presidential Cup.
Interim coach, Puseletso Mokhosi, on Thursday told the Sunday Express that a 23-member squad had been assembled for the upcoming tie and their first session was last weekend at Bambatha Tšita Arena. Mokhosi added the team would continue with the weekend sessions until a week before the tie when they go into full camp.
“We have assembled a 23-member squad for the Swaziland tie and I am satisfied with the quality I have,” Mokhosi said.
“This match is very important for us because it will give this team some international feel and exposure after two years of inaction.”
Mokhosi hailed the resuscitation of the Women’s Super League in May this year, which she said had made Mehalalitoe’s return possible.
“The league has obviously been the reason we now have this national team, and we welcome it with both hands.
“Right now, I don’t have that much to do to get my team in shape because the players are ready; we are only working on simple things such as trying new combinations and helping them work as a team.
“We only have about seven new players, while the rest have been with the team before, so I don’t think it will be that much of a problem for them to gel.”
On his part, Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) technical director, Lehlohonolo Thotanyana, said Mokhosi would continue holding fort while the search for a substantive coach goes on.
“We are still searching for the national team coach but for this coming match, Mokhosi will be working with Mahlomola Matšoara and Monaheng Montšo as her assistants,” he said.
Thotanyana further said the team has only been training on weekends but is set to report for full camp a week before the Swazi clash.
“For now, they only practice on weekends to ensure they remain fit and become familiar with each other. However, a week before the match, they will start full training to make sure they are ready for Swaziland,” said the former Lioli coach.
Thotanyana further said the second round of the Women’s Super League gets underway next weekend, which he noted would further ensure the players are in prime shape by the time of the Swaziland clash.
Goalkeepers: Mosilinyane Lefaphane (Kick4Life), Lineo Nono (Likhosatsana), Motselisi Kobeli (Basetsana).
Defenders: Itumeleng Ntsasa (Basetsana), Mamoroesi Likotsi (Liverpool), Nkotso Mapota (Likhosatsana), Moleboheng Matabane (Likhosatsana), Rethabile Matlamela (FC Stoko), Rethabile Ntobo (Kick4Life).
Midfielders: Boitumelo Rabale, Ntsabeng Pelea, Palesa Mpeta (all Likhosatsana), Kefuoe Makoa, Mathebe Ramphielo, Makobo Kepa, Senate Letsie (all Kick4Life), Charmaine Setoko (FC Stoko), Tsoanelo Leboka (Basetsana).
Strikers: Relebohile Akhente (FC Stoko), Kholu Lebakeng (Likhosatsana), Halio Mohasisa (Kick4Life), Mafusi Phezulo (Basetana), Mapule Potsane (Makaota).