By Moorosi Tsiane
MASERU — Just last season, newly signed Lioli striker, Nkoto Masoabi, was playing football in the A Division for Liphakoe and little did he know that a lot of the big teams in the premier league had been attracted to his talent.
Masoabi, who seemed to be on his way to joining Matlama at the start of the season having played for Tse Putsoa in the pre-season (including a 1-5 loss to Orlando Pirates), is now a Lioli player.
Tse Nala paid M25 000 to Liphakoe to win the race for the signature of the dreadlocked striker.
“I’m enjoying life in the elite league playing for the league champions and my performance has also been improving since I joined Lioli,” Masoabi said.
The striker admitted that he did not expect to settle so quickly that after six games into the new campaign he is leading the goal scoring chats with eight goals.
“Credit goes to my teammates, especially the experienced campaigners such as Bushy Moletsane, Motlalepula Mofolo and the technical team for making me feel at home with the team,” he said.
He said it was easy for him to settle at Lioli because of their style of play which is similar to that of his former club, Liphakoe.
The striker opened his account in Tse Nala with a brace in a 6-1 demolishing of Mpharane Celtic.
He went on to score in Tse Nala’s next matches against Qoaling Highlanders, Joy and Likhopo, but failed to find the back of the net against Linare as the league champions were held to a one-all draw.
The left-footed striker was at it again this past Sunday as his goal took Lioli to the top of the table having lost the Independence Top4 title to rivals, Bantu, a week before.
The 21-year-old striker told the Lesotho Times that his fine goal scoring form is continuing and he hopes that more goals will come to reward the Teyateyaneng team with the trust shown in his abilities when they sign him under the nose of Matlama.
“I do not have a specific target. I just want to continue scoring and help my team succeed,” said Masoabi.
“I joined the league champions and I will be very happy if I can help the team defend their crown,” he said.
He told this paper that like any player he also has dreams of representing his country at the highest level.
“It is a dream that one day I will impress the national team selectors and to do that means I have to maintain the good form,” the striker said.
The dreadlocked striker also had a spell with South African Vodacom league side Witbank Spurs before coming back home to join Liphakoe.
Lioli coach, Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu, said he has been surprised how the striker quickly settled into his newly assembled side.
“He has been a good buy for the team and I’m happy it did not take him long to settle,” Mokhothu said.
“He has all the attributes to make a good player. He is very talented, humble, disciplined and always willing to learn,” he said.
The Lioli mentor said the striker will have to put his feet firmly on the ground to live up to his true potential as there is room for improvement in his career.
“I have no doubt that he is national team material and we have to give him time to improve and he will soon be a superstar,” added Mokhothu.
He said the striker should also prepare for tough times as they will be a time that he will experience a dry spell and subsequent criticism from supporters. “He is such a well disciplined and hard working player but I believe there are still lots of things that he needs to learn to improve his football,” said Mokhothu.
Mokhothu said fans must give all the support to players because there are always dark days in football, especially if a player has set himself a good record from the start.