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Notši puts faith in youngsters for COSAFA


Seabata Mahao

The national team caretaker coach, Leslie Notši has reinforced his squad with some of the best young talents in the league for the upcoming COSAFA Cup competition.

Among the youngsters called up for their first COSAFA tournament are Lesotho Football Association’s (LeFA) School of Excellence products Seahlolo Mosoeu, Mohlomi Makhetha, Neo Mokhachane, Koenehelo Mothala, and Tšepang Sefali.

Another hot prospect in the squad is 21-year-old Hlomelang Lebina, who was the joint top goal-scorer in the 2022/23 Vodacom Premier League (VPL) season.

The squad is currently in camp to prepare for the competition, scheduled for July 5 to 16 this year in Durban, South Africa.

“We have kept the core of the team that was already assembled, but also reinforced the squad with the best young players in the league,” Notši said this week.

He said it is important to give young players a chance for the COSAFA tournament, especially those who did well in the league, like Lebina.

“It is important to give a chance to players like Lebina, who was outstanding this past season in an area where Likuena is lacking, which is scoring goals.”

He said Mosoeu has made good progress and they believe he will add more growth to his game by participating in the COSAFA Cup.

“He has shown in some friendly games that he is one for the future.”

Notši is being assisted in his job by Bob Mafoso, with whom he reunites for the first time since they took the Lesotho national under-20 team to the final of the COSAFA U-20 Championship in 2017.

On his team’s prospects in the upcoming tournament, Notši expressed confidence that they can reach the semi-final stage of the tournament.

NotÅ¡i previously led the national team to the semi-finals in 2013, in his first stint as Likuena’s caretaker coach.

They are drawn in Group B alongside Angola, Mauritius, and Mozambique in the COSAFA Cup.

“Looking at our group for the COSAFA tournament, it is a tough group but we will go there and do our best. I’m confident that we will do well.

“We may have not done well in the recent AFCON games, but there are positives to take from those matches and all we need to do is to help the players get their groove back because I think we can get as far as the semi-finals.”

He said it is important to help the players regain their self-belief and also to understand patriotism.

“The players need to understand what it means to represent their country and don their national colours.”

NotÅ¡i’s full squad for COSAFA is as follows:   goalkeepers: Seahlolo Mosoeu (LCS), Sekhoane Moerane (LMPS), and Teboho Ratibisi (LDF).

Defenders are Mohlomi Makhetha (LCS), Rethabile Mokokoane (Matlama), Rethabile Senkoto (Linare), Rethabile Rasethuntša (Linare), Kopano Tseka (LCS), Basia Makepe (LMPS) and Thabang Malane (LCS).

The midfielders are Thabo Lesaoana (Bantu), Koenehelo Mothala (Linare), Lisema Lebokollane (Linare), Lehlohonolo Fothoane (Bantu), Tumelo Makha (Lioli), Neo Mokhachane (Bantu), TÅ¡epang Sefali (Linare), Tshwarelo Bereng (Mbababe Highlanders), and TÅ¡epo Toloane (LDF),

The forwards are Hlomelang Lebina (LCS), Jane ThabantÅ¡o (Matlama), Motebang Sera (Royal AM) and Katleho Makateng (Richard Bay).

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