Marabe confident of lifting title

Marabe confident of lifting title

MASERU-Bantu star Litšepe Marabe says the current suspension of the Econet Premier League season will not affect Bantu’s momentum as they hold out hope of being crowned 2019/20 league champions.

‘A Matšo Matebele’ were marching towards the Econet Premier League title when the season was halted on March 17 because of fears over the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
With Lesotho in the midst of a 21-day national lockdown which started on Sunday, it is unclear when or if the league season will resume.

Marabe, however, remains hopeful Bantu will get to finish off their stellar campaign which saw them cruising with 16 wins, two draws and no defeats from their 18 games until the league was abruptly stopped.
With 50 points in the bag, Bantu needed just one more win from their remaining six games to clinch the premiership title ahead of defending champions Matlama who were second with 34 points from 18 matches.
Speaking thepost yesterday, Marabe said it is important to stay mentally strong and motivated.

He said the coronavirus outbreak is out of the players’ control and all they can do is accept the current postponement of all activities.
He said he believes Bantu will pick up where they left off when football returns and he said it is important for the team to continue doing what worked for them before which included focusing on each game and preparing for every opponent.

Bantu also had the chance to become the first local side to go an entire league season unbeaten.
Marabe insisted being undefeated is not Bantu’s dream but it is something that is achievable if they take one game at a time and win every game they play.

“We had momentum, yes, but this is something we cannot control. We just have to accept, and try to stay strong. Make sure it doesn’t go to our heads, I also think it is a chance for those who were injured to recover from their injuries, you know,” Marabe said.

“I think we should just take it one game at a time as we were doing, focus on the game we are playing, try to plan and see how we can win it. If we think about every game it will affect us and doesn’t serve the purpose now.
“It’s about keeping the spirit high and maintaining the consistency levels we have shown,” he added.

Marabe is one of the longest serving players at Bantu and has been a key player in their success this season.
He has worn the captaincy armband for most of the season after Lindokuhle Phungulwa suffered a long-term injury at the beginning of the campaign that kept him on the sidelines for over three months while fellow club captain Thapelo Mokhehle has also struggled with niggling injuries.
Marabe has had to assume a greater leadership role in the Bantu dressing room but he said he was able to adjust because he is not someone who is afraid of challenges.

Marabe said he challenged himself and his teammates during the off-season to do things they have never done before; for example, a central defender to score five goals, or anyone who has not scored with a header to do so this season

“I am not afraid of challenges, during the off-season I was brave enough to stand in front of the whole team and I challenged them,” Marabe said.
“I said if you are a defender and you have only scored three goals in a season in the past now score five; I said if we can win 13 games in a row we will win the league,” he said.
Marabe has also improved his all-round contribution as he leads the league in goals and assists.

“I have been really creating lots of goals (this season), before I could score and this is the first time I have done this. I have sort of taken a leadership role in the team this season,” Marabe said.

He said Bantu are always trying to improve on their previous performances and use training to get better as well.

Tlalane Phahla

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