MASERU — Another player who could be on his way out of Lioli but for completely different reasons is winger Montoeli Sonopo.
After the 17-year-old speed merchant scored a wonder goal in Tse Nala’s draw against LCS on Sunday, he left that evening for a 10-day trial camp in Douala, Cameroon.
Sonopo touched down in Cameroon on Monday and the trials began yesterday.
The trials camp, which will end on December 1, has been arranged by Fifa-accredited agent Olivier Noah of Noga Sports Management based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Lioli president Lebohang Thotanyana said the trial was a result of the club’s contacts with Noah and Sonopo’s performances over recent months.
“We had talked to him (Noah) before about several players including Montoeli,” Thotanyana said.
“He happened to be there when the national (Under-17) team played in Cameroon (in August) and he was impressed with what he saw.”
Noah has organised similar tryouts before.
In February, through Noga Sports Management, he organised trials in Accra, Ghana, after which 14 African players earned themselves opportunities at European clubs.
The exercise also spanned over 10 days.
It was attended by over 85 players from the continent.
At the end of the camp 14 players were chosen after meeting requirements set by scouts in attendance.
Scouts from European clubs Olympique Marseille, AS Monaco, Nantes, Lille, Lyon and Asse of France; Sporting Gijon, Rayo Vallecano, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Malaga and Celta Vigo of Spain; and Portugal’s Sporting de Braga were present at the trials.
Thotanyana said Lioli’s aim was to provide a platform for the club’s players to make the most of their talent.
“We want to be a team that provides opportunities for its players, a player should be sure that when they play for Lioli their talents will be recognised far and wide,” he said.
“We want Lesotho to have a few players playing abroad and it is not just Montoeli who has caught the attention of scouts.
“This exercise is not cheap on the club — it’s over M20 000 — but we want to make sure he is well taken care of.”
Sonopo, who started his career at Lioli feeder club TY Thunder, has enjoyed a breakthrough year.
His performances for relegated Nyenye Rovers last season earned him a move to Lioli in September.
Sonopo was also part of the squad which qualified for next year’s Caf African Youth Championship.