Mehalalitoe plans for life without Rabale, Letsie
THE national women’s senior soccer team Mehalalitoe will play this year COSAFA Cup without their attacking duo of Boitumelo Rabale and Senate Letsie.
The two are in an athletics scholarship at Lewis & Clark Community College in the United States of America.
Letsie was the first to move to the United States last year while skipper Rabale joined her last week after she flew out of the country on Thursday.
The Monaheng Montšo coached outfit has started its preparations for the games which are scheduled for 12 to 22 September 2018 in Durban.
“We started our preparations on 3 August 2018 and have selected a provisional 25-member squad which will be further trimmed to 20 before we depart to Durban,” Montšo said.
Montšo admitted that the absence of the two players in his team has left a huge void that will be difficult to cover.
“The duo’s performance in our last four matches in the AFCON qualifiers speaks volumes. Obviously, it is not going to be easy to fill in their positions because of their experience as well but then we have to soldier on,” he said.
He also added that he has added four new players to the team that participated in the African Women Cup of Nations qualifiers against eSwatini and South Africa.
“We want to be competitive in Durban and I still believe that we have a chance to do better than last year when we got knocked out in the group stages. There are four new players who are training with the team now and we are monitoring them because we need to take the best squad to the tournament.
“The level of fitness has improved compared to when we played South Africa in June this year so we are hopeful of positive results,” Montšo said.
He said their biggest challenge for now is they are struggling to get all their 25 players for training due to work and school commitments.
“The only challenge now is that some of the players are not able to come to train with the rest of the team due to their different commitments such as work and school so it is difficult to monitor how they are responding to the training.”
Mehalalitoe travel to Bloemfontein next week where they play Celtic Ladies and also have a friendly lined up against Botswana early September.
“We will be traveling to Bloemfontein next week to play a friendly with Celtic and Botswana has also proposed a friendly with us early in September but all logistics are yet to be finalised because we have to wait for the tournament fixture and see if we are not in the same group.”
Montšo indicated that he has dropped last season’s Women Super League top goal scorer with 20 goals Kholu Lebakeng due to poor form.
“She has struggled lately so we dropped her so that we do not give her too much pressure,” Montšo said.