Madidilane speaks on failed Kuenane transfer

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Mikia Kalati

BANTU coach James Madidilane has bemoaned the failed deadline-day transfer of experienced former Lioli goalkeeper Mohau Kuenane to his side.

A Matšo Matebele had been in the hunt for a third goalkeeper to compete with current first choice Thabiso Lichaba and his back-up Fusi Ranone having recently parted ways with Zimbabwean Tinotenda Mapuvire.

The Econet Premier League defending champions announced a day before the closure of the January recent transfer window that they had agreed a deal with the goalkeeper and all that was left was for them to register him with the league.

However, Bantu failed to register the player before the shutdown of the transfer window and this publication was informed by Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) officials that the Mafeteng outfit submitted the required paperwork late.

Madidilane said he was unsure what transpired.

“I do not know what happened but all we wanted was a third goalkeeper to help the team,” Madidilane said.

“Unfortunately, he was not registered. I do not know how we failed to register him.”

Kuenane has been club-less since parting ways with Lioli at the end of last season having spent the second round of the 2017/18 season on loan at Kick4Life.

The goalkeeper, who enjoyed a lot of success with Tse Nala for almost a decade, divided opinions after he was called into the national team for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations matches against Uganda late last-year due to his lack of game time at club level.

He was in goals as Likuena suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss to Uganda in Kampala but was on the bench in the return leg at Setsoto Stadium a few days later.

Kuenane was eventually dropped as Likuena revived its hopes of qualifying for the tournament with a victory over Tanzania in November.

Madidilane said that Kuenane will add value to their squad and has continued to train with A Matšo Matebele even after he failed to register.

“It was sad news to learn that the registration was unsuccessful but we will have to work with the available players. We had hoped he was going to be part of the side.”

Madidilane said he was confident that Kuenane will remain on the Bantu books despite the registration setback since he had already penned a contract with the club.

“Since he already has a contract with the club, I do not think he will leave the team but it will depend on the negotiations between him and management as I do not know the finer details of the contract.

“I think a decision will come from the two parties but he has done well so far in training. The goalkeeping department is working on him especially the elements that they feel he needs to improve,” he said.

The Bantu president, John Leuta, also said Kuenane would have added value and competition to their goalkeeping department in the race to defend their league title.

“We have two goalkeepers after the third one left and we wanted an experienced goalkeeper. Kuenane was the right candidate to fill that gap because of his experience but it was painful when his registration failed to materialise.

“His contract was signed very late and by the time we were supposed to submit all his paperwork it was too late for him to be registered,” Leuta said.

The Bantu boss said his club will now sit down to map a way forward regarding the future of the experienced goal minder as he is not eligible to play for the whole of the second round.

“Well, we will have to sit down with the coach and hear how long he wanted the player and also ensure he remains in shape,” Leuta said.

Madidilane also confirmed that former Free State Stars hard-man Teboho Tšiu has joined their technical team as his assistant coach.

Tšiu is not new to football in the Mountain Kingdom having previously worked with A Division side Ketane FC.

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