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Why are our players failing to make it in SA?


Moorosi Tsiane

If last weekend’s Top8 first-leg quarterfinal matches were anything to go by, then we are in for a treat as the competition progresses towards the final.

The likes of Mabuti Potloane, who was making his first official appearance in Matlama colours, and Bantu striker Litšepe Marabe, were a joy to watch as they both scored to give their teams the much-needed advantage going into the second leg of the tournament.

Likhopo midfielder Bokang Mothoana was also in fine fettle, with his penalty kick ensuring a share of the spoils with Linare, whose goal came from the boot of Tumelo Ngatane.

Ngatane and LCS striker Thabo Seakhoa are future Likuena stars although luck was not on the latter’s side when Masheshena drew 0-0 with Lioli last weekend.

Yet while we seem to have a lot of talent in our Premier League, there is something that bothers me about our players who are almost always failing to secure teams outside the country.

And one is bound to ask: where does the problem lie? Bantu made a surprise signing last week when they secured the services of former Santos and Orlando Pirates development team midfielder Katleho Moleko, who joined them from South African first division outfit Garankuwa United.

This is a good signing for Bantu, but what worries me is that the player should have stayed in South Africa, or better still moved abroad, where football is played at a much higher scale than our amateur league.

At the start of the season, we were also told Matlama skipper, Nkau Lerotholi, was joining Garankuwa United, but it has since emerged the defender is on the verge of returning to the club after failing to secure a work permit.

When I spoke with Nkau late last year, he said the permit was still being progressed, but I hear he could be back at Matlama before the transfer-window closes on Tuesday.

You might also remember Litšepe Marabe had to return to Bantu last season after failing to secure a work permit at Garankuwa.

Another player, Thapelo Tale, also had to come back from Serbia after his side, FK Srem, had been relegated from the topflight league, instead of securing another team in the European country. A move to FC Andorra in Spain failed to materialise and the striker has since been stuck at Likhopo.

Tale had also all-but sealed a move to South African side Free State Stars at the beginning of this season, but the deal collapsed under very dubious circumstances.

As I see it, trying to move across the border is a total waste of time for our players because save for Lehlohonolo Seema, Teele Ntšonyana, Lebajoa Mphongoa our boys have had nothing but heartbreak in South Africa over recent years.

Midfielders Motlalepula Mofolo and Tefo Maipato were with Moleko and striker Neo Makama at Pirates’ development team from 2003 until 2007, but none of them managed to make it into the first team, and all of them are now playing here in Lesotho.

During the chat that I had with the legendary Ntšonyana on Thursday, he lamented poor development strategies and failure to ensure that players are in the right state of mind saying they have contributed to our footballers’ failure to make it outside the country.

The question now is when will those in authority address these challenges for the good of our football?

Yet the sad part of all this is that I don’t see our administrators doing much, if anything, to improve the situation since some of them have decided to shift their attention to politics.

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