THABA-Tseka were crowned the National Youth Top4 under-15 soccer champions in the finals that were played at LCS Ground last weekend.
The tournament saw four districts namely Quthing, Mokhotlong, Mohale’s Hoek and the winners, Thaba-Tseka playing in a round robin format in eight aside matches.
The districts qualified during last October’s Inter district qualifiers which were held at Bambatha Tsita Sports Arena.
Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) youth development officer, Mohaila Letseka, said they have 14 districts which normally play each other during the independence holidays and the winners qualify for the Top4 tournament.
Letseka said the 14 districts are then divided into two regions, north and south where they play each other and the top two in each region qualifies for the finals.
“We have 14 districts here in football because apart from the country’s 10, we divide Leribe into two (Leribe 1 and Leribe 2) while Maseru is divided into four (Maseru central, north, east and west), so we normally group them into two regions which is South and North,” Letseka said.
“North is made up of eight districts while South is only made up of six and they play each other and the top two teams then qualify for the finals which were played last weekend.”
Letseka said the tournament is part of LeFA’s efforts to reach every Mosotho child and create a bigger pool of players for the national teams. He said they have so far received a positive responses from various stakeholders.
“I was impressed by what I saw last weekend which shows that slowly we are getting there because this project is aimed at grooming players from the grassroots and creating a bigger pool for our national team,” he said.
He however, said a lot still needs to be done to ensure that every child who has interest in soccer gets a chance to take part.
“In most cases, you will find that bases are in towns and children from rural areas don’t get the opportunity to take part, so we are still trying to see if we can provide transport for district coaches so that they can reach more children.
“We are also hoping to introduce more competitions so that they are kept active,” said Letseka.
He said they are also using the completion to ensure that they register players in the FIFA Connect system so that they would be unable to cheat in future. This year, he said, they are taking players who were born in 2004 for the tournament