BLACK Leopards coach Joel Masutha has hailed Likuena attacking midfielder Tumelo Khutlang, who scored on debut against Chippa United for the Limpopo based on Saturday.
Khutlang missed Leopards two opening games while waiting for his paperwork to be completed but was eligible for last Saturday’s clash against the Chilli Boys.
He was immediately thrown into the deep end and passed the test with flying colours netting to give Leopards a 2-1 lead before Chippa scored a late equaliser for a 2-2 draw.
“I gave my management a tough time as he missed the first two games while his paperwork was being completed,” Masutha said.
“I saw his quality when Lesotho played at the COSAFA Cup earlier this year and when he played on Saturday he did not look like a player playing his first game.”
Masutha said he is expecting more quality from the player going forward.
“I am excited with his performance and I am expecting a lot more from him because he is talented and also very humble.
“His work rate in training is impressive and I think he will be one of the surprise packages of the South African Premier League this season,” he said.
Masutha challenged Khutlang to use the platform at Leopards as a stepping stone to greater heights.
“He must look at the bigger picture. He must look beyond Leopards. He should use this chance as a stepping stone to get to greater heights.
“He must also take Lesotho football to another level for scouts to know that the country has talent. At the same time, he must do his best to help his country to win games and be a powerhouse in African football.
“He should start with our next match on Sunday against Orlando Pirates. I believe this competition will help Lesotho players and I wish there were more players playing in South Africa so that they can help Lesotho football.
“I think Khutlang has already made a statement from his first game that Lesotho has the talent.”
The Lidoda Duvha mentor said they are still waiting for international transfer certificate (ITC) of another Likuena player Luciano Matsoso for him to be eligible to play.
Matsoso was last season playing his football in Poland.
“We are still waiting for Matsoso’s ITC from Poland but he is training well. Players who are not yet playing competitive matches take part in regular friendly matches to maintain their fitness levels.
“That is why even Khutlang did not struggle in his first game but we are hopeful that his paperwork will be finalised this week because the South African Football Association has been following on it.”
The duo along with last season Econet Premier league Top Goal Scorer- Nkoto Masoabi are the three Likuena players plying their trade in South Africa.
Khutlang also consented with his coach and said he would indeed use Black Leopards as his launchpad for a bigger career in South Africa. He also indicated that while there was another offer for him from a much bigger side, Bidvest Vits, he chose Leopards so that he can settle first.
“Bidvest Wits had also shown interest in me but my adviser felt that Leopards would be a good to establish myself in South Africa,” Khutlang said.