By Mikia Kalati
MASERU — The Vodacom premier league season roars into life this Saturday with Hlotse giants, Linare, entertaining LMPS while former champions LCS will take on Joy FC in a double header at Lesotho Correctional Service Ground
Both Linare and LMPS could only afford a Top 8 finish last season and have promised to fight for silverware in the new season.
LMPS coach, Lelia Makubakube, feels his team is stronger this season despite their failure to reinforce with new faces before the start of the campaign.
“We are aware of the task that awaits us on Saturday and what I can tell you is that our team is ready for the opening game against Linare,” Makubakube said,
The LMPS mentor who has been in charge of the club for the past three seasons, told this paper that Simunye remains strong with their old squad and want to have a good start to the new season.
“We have had a poor start to the season over the last few years which has become a habit, but we have all vowed to do things differently this time round,” he said.
Makubakube said his team hopes to bring new faces into the team before the transfer window closes next week and they are in negotiations with other clubs to sign their players.
He said he will look to his old campaigners such as Bokang Mohasi, Shetsane Ramoseeka and Solomon Lefuma to help the team challenge for honours in the new season.
Despite their rich history in cup competitions, the league title continues to elude the police side.
The Hlotse-based team on the other hand are without a major trophy for almost three decades and will be hoping for a change of luck after an impressive showing that saw them win the pre-season King’s Cup tournament.
The Thulo Leboela-coached side beat both Lioli and Matlama to lift the pre-season tournament and have added a few players into their team ahead of the new campaign.
Exciting former Mpharane Celtic and youth international Lebojoa Mosehlenyane joins Tse Tala after a tug-of-war over his signature with Lioli.
Captain and star midfielder, Mabuti Potloane, had a few appearances for Likuena during the recent Cosafa Cup and a lot will also be expected from him alongside striker Moorosi Tšiu and goalkeeper Dyke Tšiu who both gave a great performance in the pre-season tournament.
The second match of the day will see a tie between former league champions, LCS who lost their title to Lioli in last season and will go head-to-head against Joy FC.
Both teams have been very quiet during the pre-season. Joy have lost their star players Jeremiah Kamele and Basia Makepe who are now in the books of Lioli.
The two players have come through the club’s youth ranks and have played a vital role in the last few seasons which saw Makepe being handed the captain’s armband.
LCS on the other hand have an experienced squad, but the correctional services side were beset by injuries through the better part of the past season.
Lawrence Molengoana is back in the team after a long injury lay-off while Ralekoti Mokhahlane remains the team’s key man after an impressive performance for Likuena during the Cosafa Cup that was held in Zambia in July.
Masheshena, as the LCS is affectionately known, also have a new coach in Katiso Mojakhomo who replaces Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu.
The country’s big trio of Bantu, Lioli and Matlama will only be in action on Sunday.
Tse Nala hosts Mpharane Celtics who survived relegation by the skin of their teeth in the playoffs while Bantu welcome Qoaling Highlanders with Matlama hosting the returning Mpharane Celtic.
Linare vs LMPS
LCS vs Joy
Lioli vs Mpharane Celtic
Matlama vs Mphatlalatsane
Bantu vs Qoaling Highlanders
Nyenye Rovers vs Melele
LDF vs Likhopo