Top-flight clubs circle on Likhopo players

Top-flight clubs circle on Likhopo players

MASERU -Likhopo head coach Halemakale Mahlaha says he expects some of the club’s best players to leave the club in this transfer window with some of the Econet Premier League’s big clubs already circling around them.
Mahlaha has managed to transform Likhopo from a club that nearly got relegated a year ago to one that fiercely challenged for a top eight finish this past season.
Sadly, Likhopo came up short in the end finishing 10th.
Nonetheless, Mahlaha has done a fine job and his technical team has built a team with players from lower league sides and managed to form a strong unit that understands each other.
Mahlaha said he knew from the beginning of the season that there were players Likhopo would not be able to keep because they were too good not to be noticed.
Mahlaha would not reveal who the players are and which teams want them but he confirmed that other top-flight clubs have been feeding him with calls wanting his players.
He said he has passed the calls on to the management of Likhopo.

He admitted keeping the players is going to be very difficult as the club is still struggling financially as they do not have a sponsor and players may look elsewhere for a better income.
“It is possible that we will not be able to retain some players because there are big clubs that want them already,” Mahlaha said.
“I knew from the beginning that these teams will come and try to sign these players because they are good. I have already had calls from the clubs wanting the players. I am happy that they are calling me first and I think there is a maturity now from the clubs that want players because they have been calling me first to see if they can get the players and I have been directing them to the management,” he said.
Mahlaha said it fills him with pride that clubs are coming after his players because it shows the good work he has done together with members of his technical team and Lefoka Adoro who is his assistant.

He said they took the players from smaller teams and put them on the stage where the big clubs in the country can see and recognise their talent.
He revealed that he would love to continue with the club next season but, because of the financial difficulties, there are no guarantees that he will still be with ‘The Red Army’.
After doing so well with Likhopo this past season, Mahlaha admitted the off-season is the time for temptations and said he does not know “what might tempt” him.
As a family man, he said he has to look after his family and if a better offer comes from another club he is likely to take it.
This is the reality that Likhopo management will have to face.
They might lose one of the most experienced coaches in the country and Mahlaha said he has already told club management that he could be tempted to look elsewhere unless things improve financially at Likhopo.

Likhopo competed in the MGC Football Tournament earlier this year and received some money that helped with the running of the team.
But it was not enough as the club needed a sponsor.
Mahlaha said this season the target was to steer clear of relegation and they are happy they were able to achieve that despite a rocky start at the beginning of the season.
Likhopo recovered well and were able to challenge for a top eight Econet Premier League finish.
“I am very proud of the team,” Mahlaha said.
“Financially, it was not a good season. We need sponsors to help the team but on the field I think we did well because our target was to not fight relegation. We recovered convincingly as the season went by and we ended up challenging for something,” he said.

Tlalane Phahla


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