Selonyane wins top award

Selonyane wins top award

MASERU – Linare striker Rethabile Selonyane completed a memorable 2017/18 campaign last Saturday by walking away with a whopping M6 000 cheque for winning the Futbolars Association’s Player of the Season grand prize. Selonyane is the second winner of the annual award following Bantu’s Hlompho Kalake last year.

It caps a fantastic breakthrough campaign during which the diminutive Selonyane introduced himself as one of the Econet Premier League’s top strikers scoring 12 goals.
The Futbolars Association’s awards were held at Victoria Hall and displayed the group’s remarkable growth since it was formed in 2011 as a Facebook page for local fans to discuss the game.
Last year, the Futbolars Association held their first-ever awards which only comprised one category – the Player of the Season accolade.

After receiving further support from members and new backing from Econet Premier League outfit Kick4Life and clothing company Basutoland Ink, this year the awards’ categories grew to four with prizes added for the best young player, goalkeeper and top goalscorer of the season.
Speaking to thepost, Futbolars Association founder Thabo Motšoane said he is proud of the group’s members for dedicating themselves to changing lives using football.
“We were at school back in 2002 and it was time for the World Cup, many people supported their teams but I was the only one supporting the winning teams all the time because I love football not a certain team,” Motšoane said.

“In 2010 I went to school in Tanzania and it was hard for me to communicate with anyone there so I decided to create a “Futbolars” club, an open group on Facebook.”
“As time passed I received advice from friends to form a committee that would run the group by organising meetings,” he added.
“Then we decided to contribute M10 per person every week so that we could sponsor awards. I injected a lot of money as the founder so that I set a standard for everyone and, to their credit, they did contribute.”

Motšoane continued: “When we started giving awards to players last year, we only had one category. This year we are back with four categories and this shows growth and we hope to grow from here. I did not know that just a mere Facebook group can make such an impact on the community.”
While Selonyane won the Futbolars Association’s main prize, Matlama starlet Monaheng Ramalefane was another big winner as he walked away with two awards for the Goalkeeper and Young Player of the Season, bringing his grand winnings for the night to M5 000.

Kick4Life and Lesotho international striker Nkoto Masoabi, meanwhile, won M4 000 for being the 2017/18 season’s top scorer.
Group member Kopano Makhoabenyane said their intention is to motivate local players because football is now a job around the world.
“We want to show people that social media can be used to change people’s lives and not ruin them,” Makhoabenyane told thepost.

“We also want to show investors the importance of investing in football so that they can get involved and start sponsoring football.”

Futbolars Association 2018 Awards (prize money in brackets):
Young Player – Monaheng Ramalefane, Matlama (M2 000)
Best Goalkeeper – Monaheng Ramalefane, Matlama M3 000 (Matlama)
Best Goalscorer – Nkoto Masoabi, Kick4Life (M4 000)
Player of the Season – Rethabile Selonyane, Linare (M6 000)

Nkheli Liphoto

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