MASERU — Teyateyaneng giants Lioli have become the first local team to sign a foreign player with the arrival of Alli Maseka from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The 20-year-old defender has joined Tse Nala for an undisclosed fee from DRC club side FC Muamba.
Lioli president Lebohang Thotanyana said the club’s introduction of a player contract system, in September, had attracted foreign talent.
“We have a defender from the DRC . . . he is registered with the club,” Thotanyana told the Lesotho Times this week.
“He is one the players who have come to the club as a result of our contract system.”
Thotanyana said Maseka, who becomes Lioli’s fourth signing this season, had completed successful trials before the beginning of the season.
“He was introduced to us by agents and he impressed during trials,” he said.
“He is a talented defender . . . he is one of the most capable defenders I have seen.
“It has not been a bad investment on the part of the club because top-quality defenders and strikers are difficult to find in Lesotho.”
Two-time champions Lioli are looking to claim back the Premiership crown from rivals Matlama.
But the Teyateyaneng giants have made a poor start to the season and after four matches they lie eighth on the Vodacom Premier League standings — six points behind pacesetters LDF.
Nevertheless Thotanyana said Maseka’s signing made the club’s intentions clear.
“It sends a message that we want to be a competitive club and to do that we are willing to source the best talent,” he said.
“It has brought excitement to the team, that Lioli is a club with real possibilities for its players.
“The players have seen Bushy Moletsane leave for a foreign league (Botswana) and now they have seen someone come in from another country.
“It’s exciting and it shows that there is an opportunity for them as players if we get rid of the mentality that we are just playing football for the sake of it.”
Maseka will have to wait for his debut though.
Because Lioli missed out on the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular tournament, which will be concluded over the following two weeks, Tse Nala’s next competitive next match is on November 13 when they host Mphatlalatsane in the league.