Bantu ready to roll

Bantu ready to roll

MASERU – With just over a month to go until the 2018/19 Econet Premier League season roars into life, champions Bantu are back at work preparing to defend their title.
According to ‘A Matšo Matebele’ coach James Madidilane, things are already looking good.
Speaking to thepost on Tuesday, a relaxed Madidilane said he believes his troops are headed in the right direction and will be in peak condition when the season starts in September.

The South African tactician has been putting the champions through their paces every morning at Setsoto Stadium and several new faces have been spotted at his sessions.
Madidilane, however, refused to comment on the newcomers saying negotiations with their respective clubs are still on-going.
“I think we are ready for the new season, we have already started practising and preparing, I think the players are in good shape and in position to play,” he said.
Madidilane added: “We are adding six new signings to our team this season but I am not in a position to discuss them with the media or release their names for now because their transfers are not yet final.”

When and if they are completed, the new signings will come in to cushion the blow of losing last season’s star Ramasimong Maloisane who left Mafeteng last week to join South African premiership side Bloemfontein Celtic.
The South African born winger was influential for Bantu in last season’s successful Double winning campaign and last month was crowned the league’s player and players’ player of the year before sealing the move back to his home country.

Madidilane admitted it will not to be easy for ‘A Matšo Matebele’ to retain their league crown for a third time, especially with rivals Matlama and Lioli strengthening their teams with the aim of gunning for the title. As a result, the Bantu mentor said the club has been very selective about who they will add in the transfers window.

The process, Madidilane said, has been conducted carefully to ensure the champions sign players who will help the team defend the league and Independence Cup trophies they won last season.
Bantu will also be looking to improve on this year’s preliminary round exit when they compete in the CAF Champions League early next year.
“It is not going to be easy for us to defend this title, we know, so when signing players we don’t just take anybody but we sit down and selectively choose players that will bring something profitable to our team and add value.

“We also have young players who will be the future of this team,” said the Bantu coach.
As for Madidilane, there have been no indications yet if he will extend his stay in Mafeteng beyond the 2018/19 season.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic defender is entering the third and final year of his contract in Mafeteng and ‘A Matšo Matebele’ have already suffered the setback of losing assistant coach Bob Mafoso who left in June and is now in charge of Kick4Life.

Madidilane admitted losing Bob Mafoso to Kick4Life was a blow but he expressed confidence the champions would continue business as usual in the new season.
“Mafoso is a special person but I believe every person wants to grow, and that’s why he is at Kick4Life,” he said.
“But, we don’t have any problems, really,” Madidilane added. “We are working hard as the technical team to reinforce our team and the plan is going well.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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