National volleyball team coach, Thabiso Maboee, has set an ambitious target for his charges when they take part in the 2023 Women’s African Nations Volleyball Championship.
The tournament is set for Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 14 to 25 August while team Lesotho is expected to arrive in Cameroon on 13 August 2023.
Maboee said their target is to win the tournament despite the players’ lack of international exposure and adequate training.
“Our target is winning gold medals at the tournament,” Maboee told the Lesotho Times this week. “Our preparations are going very well. We train hard during the week with those who can avail themselves as some are working, while we intensify the training on weekends when the entire team is assembled.”
However, despite their ambition to win the tournament, Maboee admitted most of the countries they will face are more experienced for this level of competition. Nonetheless, he said this would not deter them from their goal of winning the event as they also have players who have participated in international games.
“The fact that most of the countries started their preparations a long time ago, coupled with their international exposure, gives them an edge over us as we just started our preparations this month.
“We have not watched most of them play but still, we cannot fear the unknown. We may not have enough international exposure compared to them, but our determination and skill will take us far. I am confident in the team I have.
“Again, we have some players who have been representing the country in the biennial African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games, so we do have some international experience in the team,” Maboee said.
Team Lesotho is expected to assemble for final camp from 5 to 12 August at a venue yet to be confirmed. The top players Maboee is banking on include Ntšontšo Koloko, Relebohile Ndaga, and Relebohile Phamotse who were part of the team that won a gold medal at the AUSC Games held in Maseru in December 2021.
The same players also won silver in the AUSC games held in Lilongwe, Malawi in December last year.
Itumeleng Mareka, Mpoetsi Khoanyane, Mafonna Lehloenya, ‘Masechaba Makhate, ‘Mats’eliso Pantsi, Moleboheng Mofolo, Moroesi Tolofi, Neo Chapole, Ntšontšo Koloko, Palesa Mapota, Relebohile Mokhele, Relebohile Ndaga, Relebohile Phamotse and Tšepiso Magaolane.