Bantu find Maile replacement

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Mikia Kalati

BANTU assistant coach, Bob Mafoso, says new boy Johannes ‘Tower’ Molapo has what it takes to step into the shoes of retired defender and long-time captain, Tlali Maile.

The defender reunites with Mafoso after they worked together at Sandawana two years ago.

Maile announced his retirement at the end of last season and it looks like Bantu have found the suitable replacement in Molapo who impressed in the pre-season Alliance Winter Challenge over the weekend.

Mafoso this week told the Lesotho Times that Molapo has the attributes to inherit Maile’s mantle although he still had a lot to do to reach the latter’s level.

“He is in the same mould as our former captain,” Mafoso said.

“He was also captain at Sandawana and his conduct off the field is very impressive. I have no doubt that if he keeps his feet on the ground he could captain the national team in future.”

Despite his impressive showing during the weekend, Mafoso said the new defender would have to earn his place as they had a solid defence that helped them win the league title.

“We had a formidable back four last season that helped us win the championship and it means that the new defender will have to push them hard to get his place in the team.

“The challenge for the new players is to add value and improve the squad.

“It is a squad that has quality but at the same time needed to be reinforced to be able to cope with the demands of a long season,” he said.

Mafoso said new acquisitions like Tsietsi Motšeare who was outstanding for Sky Battalion and Thabo Matšoele among others will give them depth ahead of a busy campaign that includes participation in the African Champions League.

“Generally, we are happy with what we have though there is one player that we wish to also add even if he is currently injured.

“Unlike last season, this time we have two players fighting for each position and it gives us stability and a better balance.

“An example is our striking department where a player like Mokone Marabe is raising his hand for a starting berth in every game he plays and Lazola Tjojokoane is also fighting to be in the team.

“There is more competition now with the arrival of Motšeare and it is good for the team,” he said.

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