U-20 face gruelling preparations

MASERU – Lesotho’s Under-20 national team will play Mozambique at Setsoto Stadium on February 4 as they step up preparations for the Caf Youth Championship in Libya that kicks off in March.

Makoanyane XI team manager Khiba Mohoanyane told the Lesotho Times that the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) had lined up several programmes to help fine-tune the team ahead of the Libya trip.

“We’ve drawn up a programme for the team and if everything goes according to plan, the team will be busy from now on until the Libya games,” Mohoanyane said.

“We are still waiting for some confirmations but we are keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan.”

The team will first take on Mozambique in a friendly tie at Setsoto
before going to the High Performance Centre in Pretoria the following weekend.

The team will spend five days in Pretoria assessing each player’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the Libya games in March.

“The purpose of this trip is to see the performance of each player ahead of the Libya games.

“We are talking about individuals’ stamina, fitness, strengths and weaknesses as well as improvement of the team.

“We are going to spend four to five days there to ensure that players are exposed to these things.”

From Pretoria, the Makoanyane XI will leave for Saudi Arabia for an international friendly on February 20.

Five days later, Makoanyane XI will go to Letśeng High Altitude training centre to fine players’ performances.

The team will then go for its final two-week training camp in Cairo, Egypt.

“The camp was intended for Tunisia but because of the unrest in Tunisia, we have decided to camp in Cairo, Egypt,” Mohoanyane said.

“We are planning to go to Libya straight from Cairo if they (Egypt) agree to accommodate us,” he said.

Tunisia’s President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was earlier this month ousted from power following weeks of protest by youths and opposition forces.

The protests are still going on.

Mohoanyane said Lefa wanted to give Makoanyane XI all the resources needed to prepare for the Libya games.

“The association wants to give the team an opportunity and resources to prepare for the big games in Libya,” he said.

He said Makoanyane XI is penciled to play a friendly match against Mozambique as part of its preparations for Libya.

The last time out Lesotho thrashed Mozambique by seven goals to two in a Caf Youth Championship qualifier.

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