Lekhooana on the mend



Lioli striker, Ts'epo Lekhooana suffers broken leg after colliding with Matlama goalkeeper, Makhetha ThakeliMikia Kalati

Lioli striker Tšepo Lekhooana will soon remove the plaster from his broken leg and start physiotherapy with the hope of being fully fit when the 2015/16 premier league seasons gets underway in two months’ time.

Lekhooana was on the wrong end of a tackle by Matlama goalkeeper, Makhetha Thakeli, during a premiership thriller which ended 1-1 at Setsoto Stadium in March this year.

With his season coming to a premature end, Lekhooana told the Lesotho Times he had time to reflect on his career and found it difficult to watch both his club and national team collages in action from the sidelines.

The club’s top goalscorer with eight strikes at the time of the injury, Lekhooana  on Monday told the Lesotho Times he had suffered both physical and emotional pain during his layoff.  Lekhooana was third in the premier league scoring charts behind Matlama’s Phafa Tšosane and Litšepe Marabe of Bantu on nine and 16 goals respectively at the time, with the accidental clash ending whatever hopes he had of winning the Golden Boot.  Marabe won the top-scorer award with 22 goals, and would receive M2000 for his feat.

“Apart from the everyday pain that I ensured, it took me over a month to come to terms with this injury and that I would not play football for a very long time,” Lekhooana said.

“These have been very hard times for me, but the support I have been getting from my family, fellow players and Lioli management and fans, has kept me going and I’m grateful for that.”

The gifted striker also said Lioli have been looking after him since the injury and paying his medical bills, among other assistances.

“I will be removing the plaster anytime now and starting my rehabilitation. Hopefully, I will start running again within a month or two,” said Lekhooana.

“It has been painful for me to watch the national team on television since my injury, as I would have wanted to be with them in those battles because I was part of the side before the unfortunate clash.

“I followed the team very carefully during the COSAFA tournament held in South Africa last month and it hurt so bad when we could not make it past the group stages of the event. However, I believe the team will come good once again, and do well in future competitions.”

Meanwhile, Tse Nala have started their preseason preparations with coach Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu, who recently signed a new one-year contract with the TY giants, telling the Lesotho Times he was looking forward to another successful campaign with the team.

Mokhothu led Lioli to the Independence and league titles during the 2014/15 season, and says he would love to do even better in the upcoming campaign.

“We have already started our preseason training at the Lehakoe Club gym,” Mokhothu said.

“It is important that we have a strong team next season because expectations will be even higher after the dream season we had.

“I have already submitted a list of players that I would like for the new season and the management is still studying those names. I need a big pool of players as we would be involved in many competitions, which also include the African Champions League.”

“We already have many international players at Lioli, but I believe we can do even better with a few additions to strengthen our squad,” said Mokhothu.

Still with Tse Nala, star midfielder Tšoanelo Koetle, who had been linked with a move outside the country, has penned a new three-year deal with the club.

The linkman was in fine form during last month’s COSAFA tournament held in South Africa, where he won two man-of-the-match awards, with sources telling the Lesotho Times the performances had prompted interest from a number of South African teams.

“Tšoanelo will be here because he has committed to the club for a further three years,” said Mokhothu.

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