LONG serving LCS utility player Kutlisiso ‘Bascu’ Nthonyana has announced his retirement from the game after almost two decades.
The 43-year-old Qoaling born and former Likuena player came to prominence after he was spotted by now defunct former Lesotho Premier League Champions, Arsenal while playing for Qoaling Highlanders’ youth teams.
He joined the Arsenal youth team in 1994 and was promoted to the senior team in 1996.
‘Bascu, as the left footed player said the recipe for the longevity of his career was aided by respecting the game taking career of his body.
“The most important thing that kept me playing until this age is respecting football and training hard,” Nthonyana said.
“Again, my parents always taught me about things that we must avoid such as drugs so I never drugs. That is one of the reasons that kept me up this long.”
Nthonyana however, conceded that it was a tough journey for him growing up in a township where drug and alcohol abuse is rampant among the youth.
“The environment says it all. If you miss one step, all your dreams are shattered. So, that motivated me because I knew that if I overcame those challenges my life would change for the better.”
Nthonyana said when he came back from South Africa, he bought some cattle which keep him busy and distract him from the vices of the community.
“When I returned from South Africa, I bought some cattle to keep myself busy. How does he keep himself busy with the cattle and at what intervals?”
Nthonyana said being part of the Likuena side that reached the final of the COSAFA Cup in 2000 remains one of his most memorable experiences.
He said that he regards the late April ‘Styles’ Phumo as the best coach that he worked with in his long career along with former teammate and Linare coach, Teele Ntšonyana. Ntšonyana coached Nthonyana in the twilight of his career while playing for Liphakoe three seasons ago.
“I will always remember getting a silver medal in that COSAFA Cup tournament. That and playing for the different national teams was indeed an honour.
“I have won several trophies with LCS which include two league titles in a row in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons. I also won the Vodacom Spectacular after it was introduced in 2009.
“The late Ntate Phumo is for me the best coach with whom I have worked. I also have great respect for former Likuena coach, Ntate Monaheng ‘Doc’ Monyane and Teele Ntšonyana who coached me three seasons ago when I was on loan at Liphakoe.
“The team had been playing in the A Division for about 10 years I think but I played my best football there. It was a great experience to help the team win promotion back into the premier league. The said coaches improved my understanding of the game and made me enjoy it,” Nthonyana said.
The former Likuena player, who was at home playing in midfielder and as a defender, said he has his eyes set on coaching and would be happy to enrol into a coaching course.
He also regarded the late former Qoaling Highlanders and Qoaling Flowers coach, Teboho ‘Rasta’ Moqoaka as his role model while growing up. He said he also modelled his style against that of former Likuena players, Motlalepula Majoro and Likhetho Mokhathi.