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Lioli trio on trials in SA



Luciah Phahla


Three Lioli players – Nkoto Masoabi, Liteboho Mokhehle and Tšepo Lekhooana – are undergoing trials at two unnamed National First Division (NFD) clubs in South Africa.

The development was confirmed by ‘Tse Nala’ communications and marketing manager Tšeliso Lerata yesterday.

Lerata said Masoabi left the country on Monday while Mokhehle and Lekhooana left last week.

Masoabi, along with teammate Lekhanya Lekhanya, had been linked with a move to Vodacom Premier League side Kick4Life in recent weeks.

Lerata said the three trialists left with Lioli’s blessings and are expected back in the country as soon as their try-outs are over.

“Liteboho Mokhehle, Masoabi Nkoto and Tšepo Lekhooana are all on trial in South Africa. Two are at the same club while the other is at another team. I am not at liberty to disclose the names of the teams but they are national first division teams,” Lerata told thepost.

“It is our responsibility and we are determined to make sure that our players are well taken care of,” he added. “We don’t want our players to use football as recreation but as a profession. We want them to earn a living out of football.”

The trio are undergoing their trials after enjoying contrasting 2015/16 campaigns for the champions.

Shot stopper Mokhehle shared goalkeeping duties with Kananelo Makhooane and ended the season as part of Lesotho’s COSAFA Castle Cup squad in Namibia while striker Masoabi finished as Lioli’s top league scorer with seven goals.

Lekhooana, on the other hand, only returned to full action in the second half of the campaign after suffering a serious injury in early 2015.

Lerata said Lioli are delighted to have three players on trial out of the country.

“We are proud to have three players on trials out of the country. This is a (first) step in a journey of a thousand miles; it shows our players are growing. We wish them all the best,” he said.

“If they impress during their trials we will not stand in their way. The club that is interested will enter into negotiations. We want our players to grow.”

Lerata underlined that Masoabi, Mokhehle and Lekhooana will be welcomed back and would join their teammates in preparations for the 2016/17 season if their efforts in South Africa are unsuccessful.

“They are still our players,” he said. “They are welcome to come back to the club even if they don’t get contracts where they are now. We allowed them to go and we will welcome them back.”

Lerata also confirmed that no players have left the Teyateyaneng giants. He said Lioli are focused on getting ready for next weekend’s Alliance Winter Challenge pre-season showpiece.

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