Hard-running striker Thapelo Tale is back at Likhopo after being out of action since the season started in August last year following a bitter fallout with the management over his intended move to Bantu.
The national team hitman is expected to make his first appearance for the team next weekend against LCS, ending a dispute that was increasingly threatening his football career.
Tale angered Likhopo management after training with Bantu in the offseason despite having a contract with the Red Army.
But according to team manager Qamako Mahao, the dispute had since been resolved and the striker would make a welcome return to action next weekend.
“It is true that Tale is back with the team. We sat down with him and he apologised for his mistakes. He picked an injury two weeks ago; that’s why he hasn’t been playing for us, but he is OK now and is likely to feature when we play LCS next weekend,” Mahao said.
“As you might be aware, we reached a decision to suspend him for indiscipline at the start of the season but some stakeholders appealed with us to suspend the suspension as the national team (Likuena) was about to play in continental qualifiers.
“We heard these appeals and gave him the chance to go and represent the country. However, instead of coming back to the team after the matches, he decided to stay away. That is why he has been away from the team, but like I said, the issue has now been resolved and is back.”
Mahao said Tale was physically fit to go straight into premier league action.
“He is a hardworking player, so physically, he is good. The problem might come with his mental fitness because he has been on the sidelines for too long. But we are doing all we can to make sure he is fully ready to play,” he said.
Mahao would not comment on the player’s contract with Likhopo, which had been the source of the fallout.
“What I can only say is that he is our player but unfortunately, I can’t reveal the terms of our agreement with him because they might be misinterpreted. But you must know that as our player, it is our obligation to support and protect him,” said Mahao.
Likhopo are sixth on the 14-team Premier League table with 29 points after 21 matches and are not in action this weekend because of the LNIG Top8 semifinals and finals involving Lioli, LCS, LDF and Bantu.
Next Vodacom Premier League fixtures
April 16: Lioli v Liphakoe (Setsoto Stadium), LDF v Sandawana (Ratjomose), Likila v Kick4Life (BB), LCS v FC Likhopo (LCS).
April 17: Matlama v Bantu (Pitso Ground), Rovers v Mphatlalatsane (Roma), LMPS v Linare (PTC).
Latest premier league standings