Duo to rub shoulders with Chelsea stars

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MASERU — Two Basotho teenagers will this month spend two weeks at Chelsea Football Club after impressing during this year’s Coca-Cola National Schools tournament.

Nketsi Rankhasa, 17, and Joseph Tlali, 17, were voted the two best players at the regional competition held last month.

The duo will have the rare chance of rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best footballers at the former English league champions Chelsea such as John Terry, Didier Drogba and Ferrando Torres.

Lesotho Institute of Sports Association general secretary, Retšelisitsoe Lephaila, told the Lesotho Times the two youngsters could be off to the United Kingdom in the next few weeks.

“We’ve not been given the dates as of now because Coca-Cola is working on their visas as we speak,” Lephaila said.

“But it’s going to happen soon and they might leave before the end of this month.”

All expenses are being footed by Maluti Mountain Brewery, the Copa Coca-Cola National Schools Tournament prime sponsor.

Lephaila said the sponsors were determined to give the best players at the tournament an opportunity to get international exposure.

The two best players at last year’s tournament — Ranthontsi Phokoane and Sekhohola Mohai — attended a training camp in South Africa.

Mohai also took part in the Fifa 2010 World Cup games as a flag bearer.

“Copa wants to give these children international exposure to meet and socialise with football stars who they normally see on television only,” Lephaila said

“They need to be honoured and appreciated for the hard work they put during these games.

“On the part of Copa, they want to leave a legacy for both these youngsters and the country.”

The Copa Coca-Cola National Schools Tournament is meant to identify and develop talent at the grassroots level.

The tournament has been running in Lesotho since 2004.

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