The stage has been set for the inaugural Vodacom Premier League (VPL) awards in celebration of the just ended footballing season, at a prestigious event to be held in Maseru tonight (Friday June 24, 2022).
Organized by the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) in partnership with the soccer league headline sponsor telecommunications giant company Vodacom Lesotho, the awardsâ€™ ceremony will be the first since Vodacom Lesotho replaced rivals Econet Telecom Lesotho as the sponsor for the premier league in 2020. Due to an abnormal season that was experienced in the country spanning the past two years the event of this nature was last held at the fall of the 2019/20 season.
Among the big winners to look out for at the event is Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) star forward Katleho Makateng for the Golden Boot top goal-scorer award having scored the most goals in one season, and set to be recipient of the M 13 500 prize money.
The Pitseng born striker broke the three-year long 18 goals record set by both Mojela Letsie and former Matlama forward Motebang Sera banging-in a record 20 goals.
He is also set to battle it out in the Playersâ€™ Player of the year award category alongside, Matlamaâ€™s veteran attacking midfielder, Jane ThabantÅ¡o and golden boot challenger LCSâ€™s Makara Ntaitsane, where M12 000 is up for grabs.
The trio is also set to face-off in the biggest award of the night, Player of the Season category where the winner is set to walk away with M15 000 while Makateng is also in the running for the Young Player of the Season award which comes with a M9 500 prize.
Matlamaâ€™s winning league coach, Molebatsi Mothobi has been nominated against LDFâ€™s Motheo Mohapi and LCSâ€™s Shalane Lehohla in the Coach of the Year category where the winner will scoop M12 000.
In the Goalkeeper of the Season category, Tankiso Chaba of LCS, is pinned against Likuenaâ€™s number one as well as Matlamaâ€™s shot stopper, Monaheng Ramalefane, where the winner is set to walk away M9000 richer.
A M9000 price tag is also for-takers in the Midfielder of the Year and Defender of the Year categories where midfielders, TÅ¡epo Toloane of LDF, Matlamaâ€™s Jane ThabantÅ¡o and Lisema Lebokollane are pinned against each other, with defenders Kopano Tseka of LCS, TÅ¡eliso Lekhooa of Matlama and Linareâ€™s Rethabile RasethuntÅ¡a to face-off.
PLMC spokesperson, Qamako Mahao revealed that the executive of the league was happy with how the league had gone despite it being the longest ever season in the history of the countryâ€™s football.
â€œThis was one of the most challenging football league seasons in our country and it was mainly due to the Covid-19 outbreak but we are happy that we managed to see it through and the awards are proof that we did our best in the most trying of times for all sports and corporates,â€ Mahao said.
The season started shortly after the introduction of a new sponsor in the return of Vodacom Lesotho with an average of M2.8 million per season for three seasons.
Mahao stated that although the season started in the middle of a pandemic, being able to bring in a new sponsor with a bigger financial injection was their biggest achievement.
Meanwhile, the other awards categories include the Referee of the Season where Lebalang Mokete is up against RetÅ¡elisitsoe Mopeli and Leloko Motlaase for a M6000 prize and the Best Assistant Referee of the Season category which will see the winner walk away M5000 richer, has Lesupa Puputla against Siza Dlangamandla and Puleng Mahomo.