MASERU — The term “more than a football club” can at times be loosely bandied about.
However in the case of Vodacom A-Division outfit Kick-For-Life FC it is fittingly appropriate.
The young team is now based full-time in Old Europa with a mission to develop football in Lesotho.
Kick-For-Life will once again campaign in the first division this season seeking to rise to the highest level of football in Lesotho for the first time.
To guide them in this quest the club has hired former Matlama and Nyenye Rovers mentor, Motlalepula ‘Maradona’ Majoro.
But there is a feeling that there is more to the club than just on-field success.
On this Thursday afternoon workers are busy laying grass on the once derelict Old Europa pitch once used by LMPS.
Next to the ground is the world-class astro-turf Fifa Football for Hope facility.
This place has the feel of an academy.
“The pitch is open to everybody; it is a place where kids from different backgrounds can play together all day.
“There is no field like this in Lesotho,” Majoro says.
The fact Kick For Life is planting grass is another sign of their seriousness.
Majoro says the pitch will be ready for their home game against Rovers on September 25.
“It has affected the team a bit,” he adds.
“The past three weeks we had been training on the pitch.”
The team’s first match will be against Liphakoe next week Sunday in Mafeteng as part of a double header, the main dish being the titanic premiership clash between Bantu and Linare, to celebrate Fifa Fair Play Day.
“It doesn’t put us under pressure.
“I like it when there are a lot of supporters at the game,” Majoro says of the prospect.
Majoro has been heavily involved in youth football since his retirement in 1997.
He coached at youth level for several years in the United States where he spent six years.
He also heads his own academy, Juventude, based in Maseru.
Juventude also train at the Kick For Life ground.
Majoro notes that the theme of developing youth is represented in the make-up of the Kick For Life squad.
“The average age of the team is 22,” he says.
“One of the youngest is 17 years old and two are 18, the rest are 19, 20 upwards.”
Majoro believes that although Kick For Life were almost relegated from the A Division last season, this team can go all the way to the premier league.
“I have been with the team for four weeks, each week I can see improvement. I have trained them in a way I can see they haven’t been used to,” the coach says.
“It’s a good team and they will have no fans putting them under pressure, it’s not like at Matlama,” Majoro jokes.
While Majoro is getting his hands dirty helping with planting grass there is an intense seven-a-side game in progress on the Astroturf pitch.
One of the young contenders is 12-year-old Molobeli Sefeane who attends Machabeng College.
“The field is much better, you can play better. You can use boots or you can use just your trainers,” Sefeane enthuses.
“It’s nice for us because the field is one of a kind,” he says excitedly.
“Right now we are not going to school because we are still on holiday. Every time we enjoy playing.”
Sefeane is a right-winger in the making.
His favourite player is Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
“I have dreams of playing abroad. I want to play in Spain,” Sefeane says.
Unfortunately though the young player admits he knows little about Lesotho football and at this stage he harbours no dreams of one day turning out for the national team.
“It (Likuena) hasn’t been performing well,” Sefeane says.
“The only teams I know are Lioli, Matlama, Joy, Maseru Naughty Boys … from what I read in the newspapers.”