‘M2 million for Koloti’

‘M2 million for Koloti’

Luciah Phahla

MASERU

Sundawana have a slapped a M2 million price tag on striker Roboama Koloti after Vodacom Premier League champions Lioli made a formal offer for his services on Monday.

‘Masaena’, as Koloti is known in football circles, enjoyed a breakthrough 2015/16 campaign as he plundered 13 league goals and inspired Sundawana to a fourth-place premiership finish. In the end, his 13 strikes were just one shy of Matlama’s Motebang Sera in the race for the league’s golden boot.

Currently, the red-hot marksman is in camp with the Lesotho Under-20 team and on Sunday he struck the winning goal as the Makoanyane XI beat Mozambique at Setsoto Stadium to book a date against South Africa in the final round of qualifying for the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations.

It is believed Lioli desperately want to add Koloti to bolster their attack with an eye on next year’s CAF Champions League campaign and his performance on Sunday only intensified their interest.

Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and Bantu are also thought to be chasing the hitman. However, Sundawana’s asking price may prove to be a stumbling block.

Approached on Tuesday, Sundawana owner Thato Nkone, well known as ‘Sandawana’, confirmed the club had received an offer from Lioli. Nkone, however, insisted Koloti is going nowhere saying only an offer of M2 million would make him reconsider.

“(Monday) we received a letter from Lioli regarding (Koloti), and he is not going anywhere,” Nkone told thepost.

“Teams do want him, including LMPS, but I am not releasing him and I have told him that. I want two million for him, I am serious.”

Nkone stressed Koloti is close to his heart and said he developed the striker into the player he is today. And, commenting on LMPS promising jobs to players when signing them, Nkone said he would do the same to keep Koloti.

“I also promised him a job to stay here with us,” he said.

In a wide-ranging interview with thepost, Nkone also admitted rival interest in Sundawana coach Bob Mafoso. Two weeks ago thepost broke news Bantu were looking to add Mafoso to a planned big-name technical team as assistant coach to South African James Madidilane.

Mafoso took charge of the Butha-Buthe outfit last September and masterminded the club’s first-ever top four finish since their promotion to the Vodacom Premier League three years ago.

Along the way he transformed Sundawana into a force that amassed 42 points from 26 matches and finished ahead of the likes of Likhopo, Bantu and Lesotho Defence Force.

Nkone said although coaches come and go, he does not want to lose Mafoso.

He said he loves Mafoso and wants to work with him for years to come.

Nkone revealed he had a meeting with the coach on Monday where Mafoso admitted talking to Bantu and Linare. He said Mafoso stressed he remains fully committed to Sundawana although Nkone acknowledged “anything can happen”.

“There are many teams that want (Mafoso), teams like Bantu and Linare. However, even yesterday (Monday) I was still with the coach. I talked to him and he still stressed to me that he will still be with us next season,” Nkone said.

“(Mafoso) told me that he did meet with Bantu, he told me everything. But, anything can happen with soccer people. You never know, soccer is like politics,” he added.

Nkone continued: “I love the coach personally, and he is still our coach. It will be a loss (if Mafoso leaves) but coaches come and go, before him we had coaches who took us to the top eight (in the league). But, like I said, I told him that I want him here and he also told me he wants to be here. I have said it before that soccer is like politics, a person would say this to you today and tomorrow you would be surprised.”

Nonetheless, Nkone said he enjoys a good relationship with Mafoso saying they talk often, even when results are not going their way. Nkone also said he doesn’t interfere in the team and lets the coach have full charge.

“No player has left (the club) and there are no new players for now,” Nkone added. “They will come back on the 21st (June) and then we will see what coach decides.”

 

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