|LCS will be looking to make it three Alliance Winter Challenge titles|
in a row when the competition roars into life on August 4...
The Alliance Winter Challenge will take centre stage on the weekend of August 4 and 5 tournament organisers have confirmed.
This year will be the fourth edition of the off-season showpiece and organisers have promised the best event yet.
The four-team competition was introduced in 2015 and is contested by the three Econet Premier League clubs sponsored by Alliance Insurance – namely Matlama, Lioli and Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) – as well as a fourth invitee.
This year the lucky guest team is newly-promoted Swallows.
The four sides will battle it out for the Alliance Winter Challenge crown early next at month at Setsoto Stadium.
The semi-finals will see defending champions LCS face Matlama in a repeat of last year’s final while Lioli will be heavy favourites in the second semi against Swallows.
The two semi-final winners will then face-off in the final the following day while the losers will battle it out in a third-place playoff.
|LCS and Matlama will face off in the semis in a repeat of last year's final...|
LCS will enter the 2018 Alliance Winter Challenge as two-time defending champions after winning the trophy last year and in 2016. Last year LCS beat Matlama 1-0 in the final and the club’s secretary general, Lehlohonolo Matlosa, said Masheshena are out to defend a title they hold dear.
“LCS has benefitted a lot from the (Alliance Winter Challenge) because of the gate takings that are collected during the tournament and shared among participating teams,” Matlosa said. “The money helps us a lot during our preparations ahead of the new season.”
Swallows are the fourth guest team to play in the Alliance Winter Challenge.
The first invited team was Liphakoe in 2015; in 2016 it was Sundawana; last year it was Bantu.
“The tournament will come very handy to our side because we are facing the huge challenge of making our debut in the Premier League,” said Swallows vice-president of administration, Maama Seeiso. “We will use the tournament to weigh where we stand going into the new league season.”