Tšotleho opens Kickers account

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Mikia Kalati

America-based Jane ‘Sunny’ Tšotleho on Sunday scored his first goal for Richmond Kickers in the team’s 2-3 loss to Charlotte Independence.

The powerful forward moved to the second-tier side from another second division club Wilmington Hammerheads in January this year after going to the United States in 2004 as a 13-year-old.

The 26-year-old also scored his first goal for the national team last month in the 2-1 win over Seychelles at Setsoto stadium. This was Likuena’s first win of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers after previously losing 2-1 to Ethiopia, 3-1 against Algeria and 2-0 to Seychelles.

Meanwhile, although Tšotleho joined Kickers in January, their season only started last month but the player missed his team’s two opening games while on national duty.

After failing to score in his two matches for Kickers, Tšotleho was on the scoresheet in the third game and the attacking midfielder is happy he is finally off the mark.

“It was really a good feeling to score my first goal for my new team and I hope it was the start of many more to come,” Tšotleho said.

“It looks like this is going to be my year as I also scored my first goal for the national team.

“The only sad part is we ended up losing the match 3-2 and it would have been sweeter if we had won the game.”

The Lithoteng-born player said he wants the 2015/16 campaign to be a special one for him and his team as he would want to win the championship.

“I have not fully settled at the club, but I think things are coming along very well. I just hope the season ends well as my dream is to win the championship with the club,” said  Tšotleho.

“I also want to give more to my country especially in next month’s match against Ethiopia.

“It has not been easy at all for me to leave my country and family to begin a career in football here. That is why I have to work hard at all times so I can take care of my family back home and take my career to another level.”

Meanwhile, national team coach, Moses Maliehe, said he was happy to see Tšotleho improving as he is an important member of his squad.

“It is good for him to continue doing well because he is at the peak of his career,” Maliehe said.

“You always see his quality whenever he is with the national team. I think playing at a higher level has helped him technically and tactically.

“The one thing missing in our game is for our players to be exposed to international football so we can compete with the other countries.”

Maliehe also said Tšotleho would be part of the team set to play Ethiopia and Algeria in June and September respectively.

He also wants to take him to the regional Cosafa tournament later this year provided Kickers release him.

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