This is only his first year in the Premiership, but 21-year-old Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) Football Club attacking midfielder, Thabo Seakhoa, has already become one of the league’s most influential players.
A gifted player with a knack for finding the back of the net and rescuing his team from sticky situations, Seakhoa could eventually prove to be the answer to the national team’s goal-scoring woes, yet still believes he is capable of playing far much better football with time.
Born in Mantšebo, Seakhoa joined Masheshena from lower division side Luna FC at the start of the second round of the 2013/14 Premier League season in January this year, and has steadily grown to become an important member of Katiso Mojakhomo’s side.
Seakhoa, who has scored five goals in 10 matches and is four goals behind pacesetter Litšepe Marabe of Bantu, believes he is on the right track of realising his dream –that of becoming one of Lesotho’s greatest players of all time.
“When I joined the Premier League in January this year, I had some goals that I wanted to achieve and among them was to have become a member of the national team by this time.
“I have not achieved that yet, which is something that bothers me a lot and pushes me to work even harder,” Seakhoa told the Sunday Express last week.
The midfielder-cum-striker said he started playing football at an early age with Qeme United’s development team and then went to South Africa where he played for different junior teams, while he was at school. He later joined Golden Arrows’ development team in KwaZulu-Natal, Seakhoa added.
“It all started when I was still a little boy,” Seakhoa said. “I used to play for Qeme United’s development team but was later forced to leave for South Africa due to some family issues. I played in the Metropolitan League when I arrived in South Africa, as my school team was in that league. I later played for several teams after primary school until I left for Durban where I played for Golden Arrows’ development team.
“I then came back to Lesotho last year and joined Luna FC, where I had my big break when LCS officials came calling.
“We were playing in a December holiday tournament in Likotsi Ha Thetsane with Luna and was really in peak form that day. Luckily, some LCS officials were there and that was how I ended up at the club.”
After hitting the ground running with LCS, Seakhoa soon became a regular with the team.
“The transition was not that difficult, and I have since become a regular in the team. For instance, this year, I have played 10 of my team’s 11 matches.”
Seakhoa’s potential has not gone unnoticed and was called for national duty last month, although he failed to make the final team for the last 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Gabon and Burkina Faso.
“It was disappointing not to make the cut for the two Afcon qualifiers, as I sincerely believed that I had finally made it.
“But it still showed that with enough hard work, I could play for Likuena. I will continue working hard to ensure I realise this dream one day.”
However, Seakhoa said he had settled in the Premiership, adding he believed the exposure he received in South Africa had been instrumental in the transition. Still, the midfielder believes he is yet to reach his peak.
“I have already settled in the elite league, and believe the main reason behind this is my playing in South Africa although I was with development teams. It’s true I have become a regular for the team, but I believe I can do far much more given time.”
Seakhoa further said helping Masheshena win the Premiership title was now his focus as doing so would “open doors” for him—the same way playing for the national team, Likuena, would help his football career.
“My focus now is helping LCS win the league title because that might help open doors to other leagues out of the country, for me. If we win the league title, we would then play in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League, where I would stand a chance of being noticed by international scouts.
“The other chance I have to get noticed since there are no Fifa-accredited agents in this country is getting into the national team.
“Hopefully, I will be able to achieve both at the earliest possible time, while I am young and marketable.”
Asked how he compares local to South African football, Seakhoa said poor infrastructure was hampering the growth of the sport in Lesotho.
“Lack of proper stadiums is the biggest problem we have in Lesotho. It is such a shame that Premier League matches are being playing on makeshift grounds in this day and age, which is what is happening in this country.
“It is difficult for players to reach their full potential under such conditions, so it would be nice to have all our matches played in proper stadiums, with proper surfaces, and perimeter walls, and proper dressing rooms.
“In addition to improving playing standards, such stadiums would enable teams to generate revenue through gate-takings, and help in the day-to-day administration of the clubs as well as looking after players and ensuring they earn a decent living through their God-given talent.
“Hopefully, we will get there as a nation and our football is going to reach the dizzy heights it has the potential to scale.”