Free State Stars eye Matlama raid
RECENTLY relegated South Africa’s Absa-Premiership side, Free State Stars, is eying four Matlama players to boost their squad as they prepare for new life in National First Division next season, the Lesotho Times can reveal.
Econet Premier League top goal scorer Motebang Sera tops the list of the players who are on Stars coach Themba Sithole while midfielder Phafa Tšosane, attacking midfielder Jane Thabantšo and central defender Michael Mireku are also on their radar.
Stars finished at the bottom of the 16-team Absa Premier League and were relegated to the National First Division while Maritzburg United, who finished 15th went for promotional play offs where they played a mini league with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and Royal Eagles. Then what happened at the play offs.
Sithole travelled to Lesotho for Matlama’s last league match against Linare to watch his targets.
Contacted for comment, the Stars coach admitted to the Lesotho Times this week that he is indeed impressed with Matlama’s quartet and he is planning to call them when his team opens for the pre-season.
“Yes, there are Matlama players whom I have been following and I must say that I am impressed and I will be making preparations to invite them to be with us here when we open for the pre-season so that I can monitor them closely,” Sithole said.
“Sera is good, I have been following him and I am impressed. Phafa is also a good player with good touches although I think there are areas that I think he must improve. Thabantso is also good while Mireku has a lot of potential.”
Sithole said he is faced with a tough task of helping the team (Stars) go back into the premiership, so he is going to need all the ammunition he can get to achieve the feat.
“We are faced with a tough battle ahead and I need all the players whom I think can help us return to the top flight league,” he said.
Asked whether he thinks all four players can fit in his team, Sithole said they all have great potential.
“They are good players with potential hence I need to watch them closely in the pre-season. The usual challenge is that due to change of environment and change of coaches, adjusting may take time because the philosophy will be different but we will have to see,” he said.
Sithole will be working with the Stars MultiChoice coach Duncan Lechesa as his assistant coach.