Club splashing the cash to assemble a ‘formidable’ side ahead of the 2014/15 Premier League season
Sandawana Football Club, formerly known as Mpharane Celtics, are on a shopping spree to assemble a formidable side that would bring the Vodacom Premier League title to Butha-Buthe this coming season.
The club was recently purchased by popular traditional healer Thato ‘Sandawana’ Nkone, and has been splashing the cash to entice some of Lesotho’s top footballers to Butha-Buthe, where the team is based.
According to an impeccable source, the club is hoping to sign some “surprise names” from Bantu, Matlama, Likhopo and Lioli, and is reportedly prepared to offer the players contracts that are “too good to resist”.
National under-20 team and FC Likhopo winger Tumelo Khutlang (19), the Bantu midfield duo of Mosiuoa Boseeka and Thabiso Mohapi, Matlama midfielder Nkopane Ntoi and Lioli defender Ngoako Mapheele, are said to top Sandawana’s wish-list.
Khutlang, who won back-to-back Young Player of the Season awards in 2012/13 and 201314, is said to be a free agent and could be declared a Sandawana player “anytime now,” the source said.
“His three-year contract with Likhopo ended last season and he is about to sign with Sandawana. What is only left are some logistics to be completed by the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC),” the source added.
Sandawana Communications and Marketing Manager, Tloaelo Mapena, on Friday confirmed the club was looking at bolstering its squad with quality players before the 2014/15Premier League season begins on 23 August.
“We are looking at boosting our squad and Khutlang tops our wish-list of players we would want to be a part of us going forward. What I can tell you at the moment is we have agreed personal terms with the player, and we are just waiting for him to sign the consent form, and then the deal will be sealed,” Mapena said.
Mapena also confirmed the club was in negotiations with the Bantu pair of Boseeka and Mohapi, whose contracts with the Mafeteng-based reigning league champions, are also said to have expired.
“We are also in negotiations with Boseeka and Mohapi. I have had a meeting with them but at the moment, we are still waiting for declaration letters from the PLMC, which testify that they are free agents, then we will take it from there,” he said.
Mapena added the club had also approached Matlama for the services of midfielder Ntoi, while left-back, Ngoako Mapheele, had since joined the club from Lioli.
“We are on a mission to conquer local football; we have asked Matlama for a one-year loan deal for Ntoi and have already signed former Lioli and Likuena left-back, Ngoako, while we also have four internationals who have already signed for us. That is why I am saying we are on a mission to be a football force not only in Lesotho but also continentally.”
However, Likhopo manager, Qamako Mahao, said Khutlang is not a free agent and still has one year left on his contract with the club.
“Khutlang is still our player because our contract with him runs until May 2015. No team has approached us regarding his services, so this story that he could be moving to another team is not true at all,” Mahao said.
Bantu spokesperson, Bokang Phasumane, also said Boseeka and Mohapi were not free agents and still had two years left on their contracts with the team.
“Mohapi renewed his contract with us on Wednesday, which is two days ago, while Boseeka renewed his a fortnight ago, so they are not going anywhere unless we get a reasonable offer that we cannot resist as a team,” Phasumane said.
There were no immediate comments from Matlama and Lioli regarding Ntoi and Ngoako, respectively.
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