As Sera, Khutlang’s future doubtful in the DSTV Premiership
MASERU – The future of Lesotho players, Motebang Sera and Tumelo Khutlang, is in doubt in the South African top-flight league, the DSTV Premiership. Both are key players for the Lesotho senior national team, Likuena, and must be frustrated for not getting game time at Royal AM and Swallows respectively. Sera, who was already struggling to make it into the first 11 of Bloemfontein Celtic last season, is yet to get a run at Royal AM since the beginning of the current DSTV Premiership in August this year.
The 26-year-old Lesotho international goal poacher joined Celtic from Matlama just before the beginning of last season, 2019/20. This before Celtic was sold to Royal AM ahead of the current DSTV season of the 2020/21. Sera signed a three-year contract with Celtic before the contract expires on June 30, 2022. Khutlang, also aged 26, is likewise yet to feature in his new club’s first 11. Khutlang, who joined Black Leopard in the 2018/19 season from Lioli, was already not playing regularly at the team before his move to Swallows.
But still, Khutlang signed a two-year contract with Swallows before the new season began; he had attracted scouts’ eye after putting up an impressive performance at the recent COSAFA Cup in the colours of the Lesotho senior national team, Likuena. Former Likuena goalkeeper and now a qualified goalkeepers’ coach, Tšepo Mathetha, however thinks the two players still have a future in the DSTV Premiership. Mathetha said both players will have to work hard, be disciplined and patient. “I think their future is very bright,” Mathetha said.
“I think the reason they are not getting game time at their respective teams is simply because of coaches’ different plans.” He is, however, surprised that the Royal AM coach, John Maduka, has not as yet played Sera “because he knows his ability very well.” Mathetha further said: “However, I think he must be patient, should work hard and be disciplined because that’s the only thing which will help him, and when he gets a chance to play he must deliver.”
Sera, Mathetha said, is a focused player who knows what he wants. “He is a focused player and knows what he wants, and once he gets a chance to play he will be able to get more offers.” Sera started warming the bench and watching his team play from the stands since the departure of former Celtic coach Lehlohonolo Seema to join Chippa United last year.
Coming to Khutlang, Mathetha said what’s encouraging about him was that he had already counselled himself that for him to be in the starting line-up at his new club, Swallows, he will have to work hard and be patient. “Makhopo (as Khutlang is affectionately called) has already said that he will be patient until the time he gets a chance to play and whenever he gets such a chance he should deliver.”
Former Lesotho premier league player and now a qualified coach, Kenny Mohoanyane, said the problem about Lesotho players was that most of them are not well developed. “Our problem here Lesotho is to develop players. So our players are not well developed,” Mohoanyane said. “When you take them to the premier league (South African DSTV Premiership) only a few will get game time.”
Mohoanyane said Lesotho needed a proper development structure. He said because of lack of proper development, there’s no need to rush local players to play in the PSL but said they should rather start at the South African second-tier, GladAfrica Championship.
Mohoanyane gave an example of Tumelo Makha who has just joined Tshakhuma FC in the GladAfrica Championship from Lioli FC. “I think Makha is going to play. It is better where he is playing now. I think we need to have a proper development structure and after that let’s take our players to the teams playing in the GladAfrica Championship and not rush them to the PSL.” “What our players need is to keep on fighting for their positions and be motivated, and when they get a chance they should grab it.”
Mohoanyane, however, still thinks Sera could have stamped his authority while he was getting game time at Celtic. “Sera had a future at Bloemfontein Celtic and in a big league like the PSL, but I don’t think he worked hard enough to cement his place at the team. I just saw him strolling in there, walking and not giving his best performance.” Former Likuena and Jomo Cosmos goalkeeper, Motlalepula Sepipi, said it’s going to be tough for Sera and Khutlang if their coaches continue to side-line them.
“It going to be tough for them, especially in that they are foreigners; you could see that their teams have not included them in their plans,” said Sepipi. “But let us hope it is just a matter of time before their coaches give them game time.” Sepipi further said: “But if the situation continues, it is really going to be hard for them and they may end up being on the transfer list.” Sera made his name in the then ABSA Premiership when he scored a brace for Celtic against Kaizer Chiefs last season. Khutlang also made his name when he scored an important goal for Leopards against Sundowns in a league game in his first season.