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Nerves of steel


DAniel Jousse (3)After two contractual disputes at different clubs, LCS goalkeeper Jousse proves it will take much more than that to prematurely end his football career.  

Moorosi Tsiane

It is said when one is destined for greatness, nothing can stand in his or her way and Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) Football Club goalkeeper Daniel Jousse is but a perfect fit for this age-old adage.

Jousse was the mainstay of LCS’ fine run last season, helping the correctional service side finish fifth on the 14-team Vodacom Premier League table.

The keeper would not let the disappointment of spending half of his first season in LCS colours on the sidelines as his former club, Bantu, refused to release him due to contractual issues.

Born in Ha Matela, Nazareth, Jousse started his football career in Qoaling Ha- Seoli shortly after  arriving in the village in 1997 to live with his mother.

After attending Metšoarong Primary School, Qoaling L.E.C and Maseru Day High, Jousse joined B Division side Emmanuel FC of Qoaling in 1999 where he played as a striker alongside national team forward Thapelo ‘Nana’ Tale, among a host of other talented youngsters.

“What many people don’t know is that I started as a striker and was playing with the likes of Nana in the same team. One day, I was forced to be in goals because the other players felt I didn’t have the strength to match the opposition in that particular match.

“I must say I really pulled it off in that match and from that day, I was never allowed to be an infield player again and that is how I was turned into a goalkeeper,” said Jousse with a short laugh.

The 27-year-old said he fell in love with football “naturally just like many Basotho boys do”.

“I just loved the game and I believe that’s what happens to most Basotho boys; you start kicking plastic balls on the streets, and eventually join a club. As for me, I was living near Emmanuel Ground so I would spend most of my time watching games there.”

And it was this constant exposure to the sport that further fired Jousse’s passion for the beautiful game.

“I started playing for Emmanuel FC in 1999 until I left in 2003 for PTC Hurricanes, who were also in the B Division. I stayed at Hurricanes for two seasons and was then snatched by the now late Bishop Molatoli, who took me to his team, Likhopo, but the development side he called Little Flower. A season later, I was promoted to the first team and that was when I shot to national prominence, if I could call it that, since I was now in the premier league.”

Jousse stayed with Likhopo for three seasons before moving to fellow premiership side Bantu at the start of the 2009/10 season—a decision he said caused him so much pain.

“After being at Likhopo for three seasons, I decided to leave for new challenges so I joined Bantu, who had regained promotion to the premier league. I must say I really had a tough time at Bantu because I spent half of that season without playing any competitive matches because Likhopo wouldn’t give me my clearance as they were claiming that I still  had a contract with them,” he said.

Jousse added his football life has not been an easy one and only sheer determination has kept him going.

“It hasn’t been an easy journey but I am glad that I have managed to rise above the adversity. I am a hard worker and very strong mentally, which is why I am where I am today otherwise all the frustration I have had to endure regarding contracts at my previous clubs would have destroyed me.”

It surely never rains but pour for Jousse because two seasons ago, he was in yet another contractual dispute when he decided to leave Bantu for LCS.

“I decided to leave Bantu in the middle of the 2013/14 season for greener pastures at LCS and I was shocked to hear that the club would not release me; the management said I could not walk away just like that because I still had a contract with them.

“It was only at the start of the 2014/15 season that I was cleared after a swap deal involving goalkeeper Kholuoe Phasumane, who decided to leave LCS for Bantu.”

However, Jousse still had to fight to earn a starting spot in Katiso Mojakhomo’s side.

“There are many goalkeepers in this country and good ones for that matter. I kept fighting until I won the number one jersey at LCS last season and I am not prepared to give-up that honour now,” said Jousse.

Locally, Jousse added, he had achieved what he always wanted to accomplish and now needs to prove himself outside Lesotho.

“Playing in the premier league means so much to me because it has given me the motivation I needed to believe in myself; in my talent. I should say I have achieved most of the things I longed for as a kid. I have been in national junior teams, from under-15, 17, 20 and under-23 level and was recently called for senior duty with  Likuena although I am yet to make my debut with them. But what I have done so far is an achievement to me, and I owe the success to everybody who believed in me and of-course, my discipline and working hard all the time. But I am ready to prove myself beyond our border should I get the chance to do so.”

The last born in a family of two sons, Jousse said the standard of local football has been going down over the years instead of the reverse, which he believes is “quite sad”.

“There is still a long way to go for the game to move from this amateur level. Players are  groomed in a very amateur environment and this becomes part of their set-up and mentality. It is difficult to take this amateur attitude out of their heads when they get to the first team and even national level, which means the coaches have to work extra-hard to change this mindset.

“However, the administrators are largely to blame for this because many of them are just there and proud to ruin players’ careers instead of building them. I am living testimony to this because  I heard that there were certain people who went bragging around that they had destroyed me when I couldn’t get my clearances but thanks to God, I was strong enough never to let that get to me. LeFA (Lesotho Football Association) must see to it that players have agents so that this issue of contracts does not prematurely end someone’s career.

“It is about time that we earn a living out of our God-given talents so our leagues have to be pushed from this amateur to professional level as it is not easy to be employed and play football at the same time. Can you imagine a situation where one is employed by a construction company and expected to report for training after work? How are we expected to give 100 percent focus under such a scenario? But with a professional league which has sound sponsorship, players can survive on football alone.”

Asked about his personal life, Jousse said: “I am married and we have a daughter. My family has always been supportive of me and I thank them for that. But then playing, for a big team like LCS is not easy; this is a team known for winning titles and since I joined them, we haven’t won anything. That says we should work hard to ensure LCS become the giants of domestic football once again.”

Jousse, who is an Information Technology specialist, said he can’t wait for the season to kickoff next month. Masheshena, as LCS are popularly known, recently appointed a new coach, Mpitsa Marai.

“We have started training and everyone is looking forward to the new season. I can work with any coach; what is important is for me to remain focused and earn the trust and confidence of the coach and my teammates.”


Names: Daniel Jousse

Position: Goalkeeper

Honors: played for national under-15, 17, 20, 23 teams.

Goals: 0

Clubs: Emmanuel, PTC Hurricanes (both B Division), FC Likhopo, Bantu, LCS (all premier league).

Date of Birth: 17 July 1988

Place of birth: Nazareth

Favorite meal: Anything cooked at home.

Dream car: Audi Q7

Role model: Myself

Marital status: Married.

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