Seturumane dropped

Seturumane dropped

Luciah Phahla

Maseru

Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) striker Tšepo Seturumane has been dropped from the national side Likuena.

Seturumane has reportedly not showed up for training since caretaker Likuena coach, Moses Maliehe, called a 24-man squad early last month to prepare for June’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Ethiopia and the COSAFA Cup in Namibia.

Seturumane has been replaced by Sandawana defender Motlomelo Mkhwanazi.

Maliehe confirmed the development yesterday.

The Likuena boss also revealed he will announce a final 19-man squad for next month’s assignments on May 24.

“(Seturumane) is already not coming to training and we have replaced him with Mkhwanazi. After the 24th (May) we will select the final squad to play against Ethiopia and the team that’s going to Namibia,” Maliehe told thepost.

The news is a blow to the team’s plans and to the player.

Seturumane was one of three players called up to further boost Maliehe’s charges after their 2-1 AFCON qualifying victory over Seychelles in March.

The others were Matlama’s Mabuti Potloane and Lioli’s Tšepo Lekhooana.

It was hoped Seturumane would bolster Likuena’s goal-shy attack while next month’s AFCON and COSAFA assignments offered the talented striker an opportunity to feature on the international stage for the first time in a year.

Maliehe said he will not be making any further changes to his squad.

Instead, he will draw from the players who have been going through their paces over the past month.

Lesotho has been pitted in Group B at the COSAFA Cup alongside Angola, Malawi and Mauritius. Maliehe underlined Likuena are not going to Namibia to make up the numbers and stressed he will select a strong team.

He said all participating nations have promised to bring strong teams and Maliehe emphasised Lesotho must protect its pride as a country. The winner of the Group B also has the carrot of meeting South Africa in the quarter-finals.

“We have our own strategy that we work in terms of calling players and, if you look at it, we added three players (Mabuti Potloane, Tšepo Seturumane and Tšepo Lekhooana) because we want to take a strong team to Namibia,” Maliehe said.

“We have our own pride that we need to protect so we cannot just go to Namibia and not compete. Teams have promised to bring their strong teams and we are also bringing our best team,” he said.

In an interview with COSAFA’s website earlier this week, Maliehe said he has confidence in his team which will be filled with young players looking to make names for themselves.

“The COSAFA Cup gives them the platform to do that and we are excited to see what we can achieve. We have a lot of experience in junior football and now is the time to make the step up to the senior team,” he said.

He added: “We know it won’t be easy for us in Namibia and we have a completely new team. But football is football and we have a lot of talented young players that are looking to make a name for themselves.”

The coach indicated that the fact the stands in Namibia are likely to be packed with scouts from across the world is a big deal for his players who don’t usually enjoy such an audience.

“It is one of the big advantages of playing in the COSAFA Cup, to allow my players to truly show their ability to scouts and agents who see them as future professionals. My players will be going there to express themselves and grab that opportunity,” he said.

Maliehe also applauded domestic football saying it has improved to the point where players are earning a living from the game.

“Even since last year it is getting better and better and we now have four clubs who are paying their players’ salaries, which is a big step forward for us. I can say confidently that the future of Lesotho football is bright,” he said.

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