By Moorosi Tsiane
MASERU — Interim national football team coach Seephephe “Mochini” Matete believes his young charges have the capacity to beat Swaziland in the two friendly matches scheduled for tomorrow and Sunday at Setsoto Stadium.
This is going to be the first time Matete will be in charge of Likuena who have been without a substantive coach since the departure of Leslie Notši in January this year.
Matete said he believes in “young blood”, hence the inclusion of several members of the national under-20 team in the squad to face Swaziland’s Sihlangu.
“I believe in young players, which is why I have included some youngsters from the under-20 team in the squad to face Swaziland. We hope to build a new team although I cannot say much now about the future because I am still in this position on a temporary basis,” Matete said.
The 23-member Likuena went into camp on Monday, with Matete saying he was happy with the turnout of the players.
“The turnout of the players has been quite good; I believe this is the first time in a long time that 70-percent of the players have turned-up on the first day of camp. That, in itself, is motivation and a good sign of things to come,” Matete said.
Likuena were last in action in September 2013, beating Sudan 3-1 away in Khartoum in a World Cup qualifier.
Matete believes the long layoff could have negatively affected the players, but is hoping to have them ready for the African Nations Cup preliminary qualifiers which begin in May.
“Likuena have not played any match since their last win over Sudan in September 2013, and I feel these friendlies are very important for the team’s Nations Cup preparations.
“In-fact, we are not taking the matches as mere friendlies because we want to win them and give the players much-needed confidence ahead of the Nations Cup qualifiers.
“We are hoping to have at least three more such friendlies before the qualifiers get underway.”
Goalkeepers: Kananelo Makhooane (Likhopo), Sam Ketsekile (LCS), Mohau Kuenane (Lioli).
Defenders: Basia Makepe (Lioli), Bokang Sello (Lioli), Thabo Masualle (Bantu), Nkau Lerotholi (Matlama), Jerry Kamele (Lioli), Sepiriti Malefane (Likhopo), Lebohang Matamane (Linare).
Midfielders: Phafa Tšosane (Matlama), Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Motlalepula Mofolo (Lioli), Tšepo Seturumane (Lioli), Lekhanya Lekhanya (Lioli), Molefe Lekoekoe (LDF), Mabuti Potloane (Linare), Makara Ntaitsane (Likhopo), Tsebang Lebata (Bantu).
Strikers: Nkoto Masoabi (Lioli), Tšepo Lekhooana (Lioli), Thapelo Tale (Likhopo), Lehlomela Ramabele (Likhopo).