The 2015/16 Vodacom Premier League season is in the books. It was a wonderful campaign with a long list of top quality performers. Here is the MolapoSportsCentre’s team of the season. Agree? Disagree?
|A star of the season?|
Lioli's Bokang Sello (left)
Sele Thetsane (Kick4Life)
Thetsane had a breakout season and his stunning reflexes were one of the reasons Kick4Life claimed their impressive sixth-place finish. Kananelo Makhooane was brilliant in goals for champions Lioli but Thetsane gets the nod because he was his team’s undisputed number one and didn’t have to share goalkeeping duties as Makhooane did. Oh, and by the way, Thetsane also saved the most penalties this season…
Rightback - Sepiriti Malefane (Bantu)
Sepiriti Malefane was a consistent performer in a Bantu side that flattered to deceive and his team’s struggles shouldn’t detract from Malefane’s continued rise. The versatile defender has now won himself a place as a regular in the Lesotho national squad. Lioli’s Mafa Moremoholo can feel hard-done-by to miss out and so can LCS’s Sehloho Motsamai. But, Malefane gets the nod.
Centreback - Basia Makepe (Lioli)
Basia Makepe has taken over the mantle from Nkau Lerotholi as Lesotho’s best defender. He has also risen from being a talented prospect to a respected leader. Makepe was exceptional as captain of the Lesotho’s Under-20 side that qualified for the CAF African U-20 Championship in 2011. Today he is captain of Likuena and captain of Lioli. Makepe is also the leader of the league’s best defensive unit.
Centreback - Kopano Tseka (Lioli)
|Ready to intercept... Lioli's Kopano Tseka (right)|
Tseka is the natural choice alongside Makepe. His partnership with Makepe in central defence is almost telepathic now. The two were teammates in that aforementioned Lesotho Under-20 side and have been centreback mates at club level since Tseka broke into the Lioli line-up at the start of last season. Tseka is the more robust of the two and combined with Makepe’s smooth reading of the game, they make a perfect combination.
Leftback - Bokang Sello (Lioli)
The Lioli leftback is another undisputable selection. Sello has risen through the Lioli ranks and his educated left foot and performances have now earned him a place as Likuena’s first choice leftback. Not only was Sello ever-present in a defence that conceded just 11 goals in 26 matches, he always added to Lioli’s silky offence with his raids from fullback.
Central-midfield - Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli)
|Lioli's Tšoanelo Koetle had another stellar campaign|
Pound-for-pound, Koetle remains Lesotho’s best midfielder. His contributions may have been slightly overshadowed by the exploits of teammate Jeremea Kamela down the stretch, but Koetle’s steady presence in the heart of the pitch was invaluable. More impressively, his high standard of play was maintained from the first day of the season to the last.
Central-midfield - Lieta Lehloka (LCS)
Lehloka is one of Lesotho’s most successful footballers. He was part of Likhopo’s back-to-back championship winning team of 2005 and 2006. Lehloka then won titles with LCS in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 and at some stage this season it appeared he could be adding a seventh title. And it would have been deserved. Lehloka was outstanding and his eight goals from midfield only tell half the story of his contribution.
Right-midfield - Jane Thaba-Ntšo (Matlama)
|An inspiration all season|
Matlama's Jane Thaba-Ntšo (right)
Thaba-Ntšo cemented his spot as the next golden boy of Lesotho football by turning in a season of consistent hard-work and sheer quality. He provided the creativity for Matlama while captain Phafa Tšosane was still finding his feet and form at the start of the season and when Mabuti Potloane was side-lined. And then there was the goal-scoring. Thaba-Ntšo scored a splendid 13 in the league including a goal of the season contender against Kick4Life on the final day of the campaign. Thaba-Ntšo can be the generational player Matlama need to return to their glory days.
Left-midfield - Jeremea Kamela (Lioli)
Undoubtedly the player of the season, Kamela was majestic during Lioli’s final run to the title, scoring three goals in the final five matches. The special feature of Kamela is his versatility. He can play anywhere on the pitch and still be the best player on the park. That was often the case this season as Kamela willed Tse Nala to a repeat of league championships. His qualities were Lioli’s x-factor.
Motebang Sera (Matlama)
Tall and powerful, Sera had a breakthrough season leading Matlama’s forward line and winning the golden boot with 14 goals. Because Matlama habitually play with one striker Sera was the focal point of the offence and he did a brilliant job. Not only did he score goals but he set the platform for Matlama’s army of talented midfielders – Thaba-Ntšo, Tšosane and Potloane – to join attacks.
Roboama Koloti (Sandawana)
A place has to be found for the Sandawana striker for the contribution he made in his team’s brilliant season. Koloti scored 13 league goals and they were a major reason the upstart club secured a top four place against the odds. Last season Sandawana finished five points above the relegation zone. This year they are a top four team because they had a striker that was a difference maker on many a weekend.
Kananelo Makhooane (Lioli)
Arguably the best goalkeeper in Lesotho today, Makhooane has elevated his play since joining Lioli last July. He won Lioli’s number one jersey ahead of fellow Likuena internationals Liteboho Mokhehle and Mohau Kuenane.
Mafa Moremoholo (Lioli)
Mr Reliability. Moremoholo can play anywhere along the back four without a noticeable drop in performance. An unsung hero.
Sehloho Motsamai (LCS)
Strong and committed, Motsamai is a prospect LCS can build their defence around.
Kefuoe Mahula (Matlama)
Long touted as a future prospect, the midfield dynamo came of age this season and took his game to greater heights. A steady, quality presence all season long.
Tumelo Khutlang (Lioli)
Khutlang only misses out on a starting spot because of Koloti’s 13 goals for surprise package Sandawana. Khutlang is the country’s most exciting prospect today. A future star.
Tšepo Toloane (Liphakoe)
Toloane’s seven goals were a major reason newly-promoted Liphakoe stayed up. One to watch.
Mojela Letsie (LDF)
Eight goals for the ever-green striker, Letsie remains an underrated goal-threat.
|Underrated goal machine... LDF's Mojela Letsie|
Coach: Bob Mafoso (Sandawana)
No one did more with less. And, after leading Likila United (relegated this season) to sixth last year, Mafoso can unquestionably be crowned Lesotho’s Miracle Coach.