The door is still open for Mosehlenyane: Maliehe
LIKUENA coach Moses Maliehe says the door is still open for in form Matlama winger Lebajoa Mosehlenyane who was overlooked in the recently announced national team which is set to play Cape Verde away in March this year.
The Likuena mentor has faced serious criticism for snubbing the Econet Premier League top goal-scorer in the squad which will soon begin preparations for the crucial clash with Cape Verde set for March this year. The match will determine Likuena’s fate in their attempt to qualify for their debut Africa Cup of Nations tournament scheduled for July 2019 in Egypt.
Mosehlenyane has eight goals from the 12 league matches played in the first round for Matlama but his name was not on the list announced by Maliehe recently.
However, Maliehe told the Sunday Express on Friday that Mosehlenyane and other players who are in top form in the league can still be called to his team before the match with the Blue Sharks.
“People will always have their opinions and I respect that but if you look at most of the players in the team, they have featured in most of the national team games over the last two years,” Maliehe explained.
“It takes time to prepare a player for the national team. The said player had a chance when we started the qualifiers but he struggled.
“But for this game we have gone mostly with players who have international experience. Playing at this level is different from club football. It would not help us to make a lot of changes to the team at this stage.”
He also said the absence of a national under-23 side has worsened the situation for players who get to the senior team without any regional or international exposure.
“With time I think he will be ready, I think if we had an under-23 team or a Likuena B team like in the past, it would help bridge that gap for players who lack international experience.
“It’s not easy to come up with a list of just 23 players. There are about 70 players all of whom I can work with in the national team but it is not possible. I do not hate the players whom I have omitted and the door is still open for them to join the squad.
“With the players based in the USA, I would have liked to include Mako Makoanyane, but it’s not easy when you go for experience.
“Kefuoe Mahula now is back because he has his form back. Sepiriti Malefane has been in good form and is back,” he said.
Maliehe also said he is happy that star midfielder Tshwarelo Bereng has been enjoying good form at Black Leopards under new coach Dylan Kerr and is confident that Tumelo Khutlang will soon get his chance again.
The Likuena coach also suffered criticism for selecting the likes of Bereng and Jane Tšotleho when they were not playing at club level.
“I could see the quality which the players brought into the team. Bereng is even happy with how the national team has helped him at club level.
“Look at how Tšotleho came from the bench and changed the match along with Setho Moshoeshoe when we beat Tanzania.
“Khutlang and Luciano Matsoso are making their way back from injury and are playing in the reserve league but they have experience and are playing at the highest level in South Africa.
“I will be going to watch them soon at Leopards. I believe in players who have international experience. These players know what I need from them,” Maliehe said.