Makoanyane XI’s Khutlang aiming high

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By Moorosi Tsiane

MASERU — Likhopo star striker, Tumelo Khutlang caught the eyes of many after a string of scintillating performances for the national Under-20 side, Makoanyane XI, during the recent Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) youth championship.

The 18-year-old striker began playing soccer very early in his life in the dusty streets of Motimposo before migrating to Borokhoaneng Township with his parents where he joined amateur side Sekonyela FC.

Makhopo, as Khutlang is affectionately known, saw his break to prominence when he played for the Red Devils (Likhopo development team).

He broke into the senior team a year after helping the Red Devils achieve promotion to the B Division League in 2009.

He continued working hard until he received a call up to the national Under-17 side that went on to play in the Supreme Council of Sport in Africa (Scsa) Zone VI tournament of 2011.

He also played an integral role in the side reaching the semi-finals of the same tournament last year where he was spotted by South Africa’s Swallows scouts.

Khutlang was the player who scored a stunning goal to help Lesotho come from behind in the one-all draw with Kenya in the Cosafa Under-20 tournament which ended last week.

He was also the one who helped Lesotho draw first blood when Makoanyane XI thrashed Mauritius 3-0.

The striker was forced to come back home from South Africa after a brief spell with premier league giants, Swallows.

At the start of the current season, his deal fell off due to a misunderstanding between Likhopo and Swallows over money matters.

Khutlang was very impressed with his performance during the Cosafa Cup which he said was likely to earn him a life-changing move to the lucrative South Africa Premier Soccer League, adding that advances had already been made by some teams.

“I am hopeful I will get a move to one of the big teams in the region, particularly South Africa.

“I have already been approached by the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United,” Khutlang said.

Makhopo was impressed with what he learnt from the just ended Under-20 tournament and he is hopeful of a call-up to the senior national team.

“I hope one day I will get to play for Likuena,” said Khutlang.

Meanwhile Likhopo coach, Bishop Molatoli, said Khutlang is a very good player with a promising future especially if he pays attention to his conduct off the field.

“He is quite a good and intelligent player, however, I have issues with his discipline and he needs to work on it,” Molatoli said.

Molatoli said players learn everyday and Khutlang being a young player, needs to learn lots of things for his career to grow.

“To be a good player, one must learn new things every day,” said Molatoli.

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