Potloane committed to Linare
Linare captain, Mabuti Potloane — who was crowned 2013/14 Premier League Player-of-the-Season during a glittering ceremony held at Lesotho Sun hotel last Wednesday night — says he has no intention of leaving his home team despite numerous offers from other clubs.
The talented playmaker insists he won’t leave Tsa Tala until he has fulfilled his promise to help Linare end their long drought for the league title.
Potloane has attracted interest from Linare rivals, such as league champions Bantu and Lioli.
The 28-year-old midfielder also impressed the Free State Stars coaches after his man-of-the-match performance last month inspired the national team (Likuena) to a 2-0 win over Liberia in an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.
“It is through this team, the supporters, management and my teammates that I have managed to win the Player-of-the-Season award, so I have no intention of leaving during the current offseason,” Potloane said.
The Likuena midfielder scored his first international goal in the win over Liberia, which took Lesotho to the second round of the Afcon tournament, where they would meet Kenya.
Potloane’s inspirational performance for both club and country has made him one of the most popular players currently plying his trade in Lesotho, but he believes Linare are the right home for his further growth as a player.
“Last season, we finished in third position in the league behind winners Bantu and Lioli, and also reached the final of the LNIG Top8 tournament.
“This is an indication that Linare can challenge for honours, which is why I am staying with the team.”
Linare coach, Freeze Ntene, said he was not surprised Potloane had been named footballer of the year.
“He deserves it. Despite being the good player that he is, Potloane continues to work very hard in training and is an inspiration to the other players as the captain of the team,” Ntene said.
“We are all very proud of him and expect even better going forward.
“I would be very happy if the club can keep him because he will be our key man going into the new season.
“What I like about him is he does not see himself as a star and continues to work hard while he also leads by example.
“I have to say it is every coach’s wish to have players of his calibre in a team, but if a good offer comes, especially from outside the country, then we should not stand in his way.”