Kick4Life raid transfer market

Kick4Life raid transfer market

MASERU – Kick4Life on Monday unveiled five new players with four more signings expected to be announced in the next seven days as the Old Europa side looks to bulk up ahead of the 2019/20 Econet Premier League season which is due to kick-off in September.
Three players will also be promoted from Kick4Life’s development side, the club said.
Kick4Life director of football, Chris Bullock, says the club will give head coach Bob Mafoso adequate time to develop and prepare his team this season.

Bullock said Kick4Life have always been fair to their coaches when it comes to giving them time to build a competitive team and this year will be no different.
Mafoso is only the third coach in the five years since Kick4Life won promotion to the top-flight in 2014 following previous mentors Motlalepula Majoro and Leslie Notši.
He took charge as Kick4Life coach last June after Notši left to become the Lesotho Football Association’s technical director and Mafoso guided the club to fifth place in the league last season in his first campaign at the helm.
This is Mafoso’s first full offseason in charge at Kick4Life and it has seen a lot of upheaval. 11 players have already left the club and to replace them Kick4Life are focusing on young players with high-level experience.

The five new signings unveiled on Monday include 23 year-old centreback, Johannes Molapo, who joins from Bantu where he won the league title in 2018, and goalkeeper Lebohang Nkeane who is on a season-long loan from ‘A Matšo Matebele’.
Promising former Lesotho Under-20 rightback Tanki Seoli (21), who was involved in the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships final with the Makoanyane XI, has also been snapped up.
Kick4Life have also lured two players from South Africa.
Defender Innocent Matlapeng (24) brings experience from playing for Free State Stars’ reserve team and Northern Cape Liverpool who campaign in the ABC Motsepe League, the third tier in South African football.
There is also Teboho Ramothobi (27) who can play at leftback or on the wing and, like Matlapeng, has played in the ABC Motsepe League.

Bullock said Kick4Life’s management will give Mafoso time to mesh the new players into a unit.
“I would like to believe that we are always fair with coaches and giving them the time they need to work with the players,” Bullock said.
“We always said last year was going to be a tough year because we changed coaches quite at a late stage when we had already agreed contracts with a lot of players; a lot of players agreed with the previous coach (Notši).”
Bullock said Mafoso can now put his own stamp on the Kick4Life squad.
“Coming into this year it was a chance for the coach to put together his team that fits the way he wants to play, so we will always keep that in mind,” he said.

“There will be no pressure for him to win all the games from day one, we do understand again that it’s a transition year again with new players, so he will get the time he needs.”
Bullock added: “The whole thing is a long term project. We said last year when Bob came in that with a young coach we are looking into bringing younger players. As much as we want to always be competing and doing well, we also see this is a long term project.”
Goalkeeper Lerole Motinyane and centreback Molemohi Phasumane have been promoted to the first team from Kick4Life’s development. The third player to be promoted will be announced and after he has been informed he will be joining the first team, the club said.

For his part, Kick4Life coach Bob Mafoso said Phasumane should have joined the first team last season but his studies stood in his way; now he is ready for the step up.
Mafoso admitted building a whole new team is a risk but it is a risk Kick4Life are willing to take as they are building for the long-term.
He continued that he believes the quality of the new signings will help Kick4Life fight for honours this season and Mafoso said he is expecting an improvement from last season’s performance.
“I think in football there are always risks and every change comes with risks,” Mafoso said.

“We had to make decisions on what we felt didn’t go right (last season). We are not even saying what we brought here will be an oiled machine that will start turning tomorrow, but we are trying to weigh everything,” he added.
“We felt the quality that we are bringing into the team will help us improve last season’s performance. We are lucky that we will have six to eight weeks of preseason which should at least give us an idea of what to expect heading into the season.”
Mafoso said he is excited to see how the team comes together.

“I think the quality of our new signings, with them having played for some time and most of them being young, is a combination that is going to make things easier for us,” he said.
“I believe in what we are doing,” Mafoso added.
“We know it is not rocket science. Having brought them in doesn’t mean tomorrow everything will be perfect but we are willing to risk it this year. It is a new team, I understand, but we feel the quality we have added will help us to grow.”

Tlalane Phahla

 

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