Mafoso names  U-20 squad

Mafoso names U-20 squad

MASERU – Lesotho Under-20 head coach Bob Mafoso has named a provisional 23-man squad for the 2018 COSAFA U20 Youth Championship scheduled for December in Zambia.
The Makoanyane XI has started training and preparing for next month’s Mandela Cup in South Africa which the Makoanyane XI will use as a tune-up for the COSAFA showpiece.
The Mandela Cup is an Under-21 tournament and Mafoso said he will take four additional over-age players for the event.
The players are Matlama goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane, Lehlohonolo Fothoane of Bantu, Kick4Life’s Mokoteli Mohapi and Retšelisitsoe Mopeli of Swallows but the quartet will not travel to Zambia in December.

Lesotho is looking to build on last year’s promising performance at the COSAFA U20 Championship when the side lost to South Africa in the final.
Speaking at the unveiling of this year’s Makoanyane XI squad yesterday, Mafoso addressed the challenges his technical team face when it comes to the selection of players, the biggest being that the majority are students and are writing examinations.

“The players we select are still in school and it is difficult around this time because they are writing their examinations and are unavailable for training sessions,” Mafoso said.
He added: “The young players are normally at small teams because such teams have a small pool of players. The ones that are at big clubs are not playing. Other than that you can only find (young) players in the lower divisions which are not competitive unlike in South Africa they have the MDC development league which is very competitive.”
Mafoso said the Under-20 technical team decided to host a media briefing to announce the 23-man COSAFA squad because of the negativity that surrounded the team before last year’s championships when fans questioned the players’ respective ages on social media.

“The (league) clubs register players and we look at that,” Mafoso said.
“We see that so and so is 13-years-old and we call him. We don’t know the player from when they were growing up and after you call a player you hear someone say ‘no way, he is not that age, I grew up with him way back’.

“You have to realise we don’t have that information because we didn’t know the player at that time. This is the nation’s team and we feel it is important to make things clear so that you can also understand.”

Lesotho Under-20 squad:

Goalkeepers:
Jessy Matsie (Lioli), Teboho Khoabane (Swallows), Retšelisitsoe Marake (Likhopo)

Defenders:
Liteboho Nkune (Kick4Life), Tuntu Moroahae (Likhopo), Lekhooa Khoete (Bantu), Molikeng Makhebesela (Matlama), Shali Lekhotla (Sefotha-fotha)

Midfielders:
Bonang Mohapi, Keketso Lipholo (both Kick4Life), Tsokolo Nyamatane, Bokang Makhomo (both Lijabatho), Mafa Mokhoele (Qoaling Highlanders), Bokang Mokhele, Tumelo Makha (both Lioli), Percy Mohani (LCS), Khemisi Maeza (Matlama)

Strikers:
Sanele Phantse (Kick4Life), Thaane Mokoena (Liphakoe), Tsotang Malesela (Manonyane), Tšeliso Botsane (Kick4Life)

Luciah Phahla

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