Bantu strike Celtic deal

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Mikia Kalati

Newly crowned Independence Cup champions Bantu have signed a groundbreaking partnership with South African premier league side Bloemfontein Celtic, the Lesotho Times has learnt.

According to Bantu president John Leuta, the agreement would see the two sides collaborating in developing each other’s brand.

“The agreement is basically about exchanging players and programmes in coaching and marketing,” Leuta said this week.

“This agreement will also see the two teams playing friendly games regularly here in Lesotho and Bloemfontein for the mutual benefit of both clubs.

“The supporters are also going to benefit from the partnership as they are going to be traveling between Lesotho and South Africa for Bloemfontein Celtic and Bantu matches.”

Leuta added Bantu supporters are set to be the first beneficiaries of the partnership as Celtic would be dispatching two buses to Lesotho to collect them for the Bloemfontein Celtic versus Mpumalanga Black Aces match scheduled for Petrus Molemela Stadium this coming Sunday.

According to Leuta, Celtic and Bantu have a longstanding relationship highlighted by iconic defender Lehlohonolo Seema. Seema played for both Bantu and Celtic in a glittering career which saw him captain the two sides, as well as South African giants Orlando Pirates and also the national team, Likuena. Seema is now an assistant coach at Celtic but his links with Bantu remain strong.

“One good example of the partnership is that of Seema, who is our technical director while he remains an assistant coach at Celtic.

“Seema has always been working with us but this season, it has been done through proper channels.”

Leuta also said as part of the partnership, Bantu would be recommending players to Celtic for possible engagement.

“Celtic are playing in a professional league which is way ahead of ours and that means there is a lot we are going to learn from them in packaging our brand and developing it,” Leuta said.

“That is why we are all delighted with the partnership; these are indeed exciting times for our club and we believe the agreement will make Bantu a force to reckon with not only in this country but also on the continent.

“We had already been working together for years now, but we have decided to take things to another level and hopefully, this development will take us places.

“The fact that our team was doing well on and off the field really helped us partner with a team as big as Celtic. Their officials were in the country when we won the Independence Cup two weeks ago, and they were really impressed with how we are developing as a club.”

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