Econet Premier League roars into life

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Moorosi Tsiane

THE Econet Premier League roars into life this weekend starting with a double header at Setsoto Stadium on Saturday.

Bantu open the season against Sefotha-fotha in the first match at Setsoto Stadium while defending champions Matlama begin their title defence against Swallows later that day.

On Sunday, Kick4Life play Liphakoe in the first match of two matches at LCS Ground while LCS face Lioli in the second match.

LMPS will take a short trip to Ratjomose Ground to play LDF while Linare visit the league’s new boys Lifofane at a yet to be confirmed venue.

Other league debutants, Lijabatho, welcome Likhopo at a yet to be confirmed venue.

Matlama assistant coach Mosito Matela told the Lesotho Times that his side was ready to defend their title and would treat their opponents with respect.

“This is a crucial match because it will determine how we go forward, so we have no other option but to win and I am happy that the players are ready for the task,” Matela said.

Matela said their target was to defend their title.

“We are the defending champions and our mandate is to defend this title and that can only happen if we win our matches.

“We are not going to undermine Swallows. They are not a small team because they are also playing in the premier league but we also need to make our intentions very clear.

“We have a solid squad and have no injuries. Apart from that, we recently played in the CAF Champions League where we gathered immense experience, so we hope our plan works.”

On his part, Bantu coach Bob Mafoso said they were also ready for the action. He however, admitted that it would not be easy to beat Sefotha-fotha, who have in the past given them problems.

Last season Bantu opened their league campaign with a one-all draw with Sefotha-fotha and registered a hard fought 2-1 win in the second leg.

“Our preparations have been good and only Lindokhuhle Phungwula is injured.

“We playing a difficult side which has never been easy to beat but at Bantu we are expected to win so our preparations have always been about winning. It doesn’t matter who we are playing, we are expected to win,” Mafoso said.

Mafoso said his charges have already recovered from the Econet Soccer Spectacular (ESS) final loss to Lioli a fortnight ago and have switched their focus to league.

“We have a team of seasoned players who know that they will sometimes win some and lose some, so that is water under the bridge and the focus is now on the weekend match.

“We lost the ESS match on penalties but we were satisfied with the performance and we can’t keep on mourning about it.”

Mafoso said their new players were also adjusting well to their new environment but was quick to say they would not put them under pressure.

“Our new singings are adjusting well but we have a big squad so we will not pressurise them. We have a big squad which can do the job for us and we will give everyone a chance.

“However, the biggest challenge for now is selecting the team for the weekend game.”

Mafoso also echoed Matela’s sentiments that winning the first match would be crucial for any side that wishes to challenge for honours.

“For us every game is important but winning the first match is crucial because it reduces pressure on the squad,” Mafoso said.

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