Lesotho’s football stars for the 2014/15 premier league season are set to be unveiled tonight during a special banquet scheduled for Maseru Sun Cabanas.
The event is one of the most important occasions on domestic football’s calendar and comes courtesy of the Premier League Management Committee and telecommunications giant, Vodacom Lesotho.
Vodacom bankrolls the premier league and rewards outstanding players, match officials and journalists at the end of the season.
For tonight’s awards, all eyes would be on the Lioli duo of Jerry Kamele and Tšoanelo Koetle, alongside Bantu’s Litšepe Marabe, who are going to be vying for the biggest prize of them all—the player of the season award—whose winner pockets M2 000.
Koetle and Kamele played a pivotal role as Lioli clinched their fourth premier league title while Marabe had a fantastic season which saw him score 23 times and become the campaign’s highest goal-getter.
Marabe is also set to win the top goal-scorer award or Golden Boot, which carries a cash prize of M2000.
Koetle and Marabe are also in contention for the player’s player of the season award, together with Lioli goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle, with the winner also pocketing M2 000.
Other award to be handed over tonight is that of coach of the season, in which Lioli’s Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu has been shortlisted alongside Motlatsi Shale of Bantu and Likila United’s Bob Mafoso. The winner also gets M2000.
There will also be the young player of the season award to be contested by Tumelo Khutlang of Sundawana, Hlompho Kalake of Bantu and LCS’s Thabo Seakhoa, with the winner also walking away with M2000.
Lioli goalkeeper, Mokhehle is also a contender for the goalkeeper of the season award and would contend with Daniel Jousse of LCS and Bantu’s Kholuoe Phasumane. The winner in this category will also walks away with M2 000.
The last awards of the night are those of referee and assistant referee of the season, which carry a M1000 each. The media awards have been postponed to a date yet to be announced.
Meanwhile, in addition to the individual awards, all the 14 premier league teams which were part of the 2014/15 season would receive prizes based on their positions on the table.
Lioli, as the league winners, would take home M200 000, while runners-up Bantu walk away with M100 000, and the third-placed team, gets M80 000. The fourth-placed side would take home M60 000, while teams which occupied positions five to eight each get M40 000; nine to 12 pocket M30 000, and 13-14 receive M25 000 apiece.
Mabuti Potloane, then with Linare, won the player of the season award in 2013/14, while injured Bantu striker, Tsebang Lebata, walked away with the top goal-scorer and player’s player of the year awards. Shale, who had just won the league title with Bantu, was named coach of the season.