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Tale’s SA move in limbo

by Sunday Express
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New coach says Likuena striker is not in his plans

Mikia Kalati

Changes in the Free State Stars coaching department seem to have cost Thapelo Tale a chance to don the red-and-white strip of the South African Premier League side in the 2014/15 season, the Sunday Express has learnt.
According to the club’s Public Relations Manager, Lebohang Maketa, chances of the national team striker signing for the Free State-based outfit are now “very slim” following the arrival of Belgian coach, Tom Saintfiet, last week.

Maketa told the Sunday Express that Tale had been head-hunted by former coaches, Kinnah Phiri and Themba Sithole, who are no longer in charge of the team.
However, Maketa said Saintfiet had indicated that Tale was not in his plans for the new season.
“What I can tell you is that the reshuffling of the coaches has affected Tale’s chances of
signing for Stars,” Maketa said on Friday.

“He was released for national duty team against Kenya on Sunday (today), but unfortunately, it looks like he won’t be offered a contract because I was told by management that he is not in the plans of the new coach.
“The coaches who liked Tale and brought him to the club were Kinnah Phiri and Themba Sithole, who have since been demoted. This shakeup means we now have a new coach, Tom Saintfiet, who has his own plans for the team, and unfortunately, I am told by management that they don’t include Tale.”

Likhopo team manager, Qamako Mahao, told the Sunday Express that all he knew was the striker had been released for today’s first leg of the second round qualifier of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
“I spoke with one of their top officials during the team’s visit to Lesotho last weekend and he told me that they were still waiting for an assessment report from their new coach,” Mahao said.
“Nothing official was said to us about the player not being in the new coach’s plans.

“However, we feel they are taking too long to assess the player. I have already told them that we have another offer for the striker and they should give us their final verdict about him, so we can move on.”
Mahao further said he spoke with former Stars coach, Phiri, who reportedly said he was surprised that Tale had not yet been signed.

“I personally talked to Phiri and he told me that he, and his then assistant, Sithole, had been impressed with Tale and wanted to sign him. He said he was surprised that had not yet happened,” said Mahao.
Contacted for comment, Tale said: “All I know is I came back for national duty and once this game is done against Kenya, I will be going to Free State Stars.”

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