League champions in 2014 and a perennial contender for the past few seasons, Bantu endured a miserable 2015/16 campaign finishing seventh in the Vodacom Premier League. Despite winning the Independence Cup last November, it was a season where A Matšo Matebele fell from grace and missed out on the top four for the first time in five years.
The most frustrating part for fans in Mafeteng would have been the fact Bantu are the only team to beat Lioli this past season, having defeated Tse Nala in the Independence Cup final and handing the champions their only defeat in the league. It showed Bantu still have top level quality but just fell short in a few areas. With the season over, this is the perfect time for Bantu to reboot. Last week A Matšo Matebele dismissed their coaching staff and here are three signings that would help return the Mafeteng side to the top table.
|A solution to Bantu's woes? Nkau Lerotholi (left)|
Nkau Lerotholi (LMPS)
Nkau Lerotholi has only just joined LMPS having moved to PTC in January, therefore prying him away will be difficult. However, a team with the resources to do it is Bantu. A Matšo Matebele struggled in central defence this past season conceding 22 league goals compared to 16 last term and nine the year before.
Club captain Tlali Maile was not the same force as in previous years and the side struggled to overcome the loss of Thabo Masualle who joined Kick4Life at the start of the campaign. In the end Bantu were forced to play star leftback Thapelo Mokhehle in the centre of defence several times. Lerotholi would be a perfect signing. He not only plugs a gaping hole in central defence but he would bring international experience and big match temperament, a quality Bantu lacked in the run-in to last season. On a personal level, playing for a side like Bantu would also give Lerotholi a better chance of regaining his spot in the national team.
Roboama Koloti (Sandawana)
Without Litšepe Marabe banging in the goals Bantu struggled to find the net last season despite often creating enough chances. The team’s striking department has also suffered due to Tsebang Lebata’s injury struggles. Lebata was the Vodacom Premier League’s golden boot winner with 15 goals in Bantu’s 2013/14 title winning campaign but he has been side-lined for basically all of the past two seasons because of a knee injury.
Mpho Matsinyane and Mokone Marabe are both willing runners upfront but neither is an out-and-out goal threat.
Bantu tried to lure Likhopo striker Thapelo Tale last year to bolster their attack but instead they got embroiled in a messy tangle for his services. In the end, Lazola Tjokotjokwana was Bantu’s top scorer with nine league goals and such a tally is rarely enough to contend for titles. Koloti would appear a perfect target after helping inspire Sandawana top a fourth place finish with 13 goals last season. He fits the bill when it comes to Bantu’s need for a finisher. Koloti may also be easier to pry away than Tale and he is coming off a season where he is confidence is at an all-time high.
Sele Thetsane (Kick4Life)
Thetsane was voted as Kick4Life player of the season and it wasn’t difficult to see why. He was exceptional all through the campaign producing stunning saves and helping Kick4Life to a sixth place finish in the league. Over the past year and a half Bantu have let go of both Daniel Jousse (to LCS) and Kholuoe Phasumane (to Linare) and have never really found adequate replacements. The result has been uncertainty at times between Bantu’s sticks, the most important position on the pitch.