Lesotho go for youth at the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup

Lesotho coach Moses Maliehe has named his squad for the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup to be staged in Namibia from June 11-25.
Maliehe has opted for a young squad with 12 players aged 23 or younger as he looked to inject fresh blood into the national team.

From the squad that exited in the first round in 2015, only defender Nkesi Rankhasa, midfielders Mabuti Potloane, Hlompho Kalake and Jane Thaba-Ntšo, and forward Tumelo Khutlang remain.

Maliehe had previously promised to bring a youthful side made up mostly of players who competed for the country’s Under-20 team at the 2011 African Youth Championships and has stuck to his word.

“The COSAFA Castle Cup gives them the platform to do that and we are excited to see what we can achieve. We have a lot of experience in junior football and now is the time to make the step up to the senior team,” Maleihe said.

“They are very keen to play and we cannot deny them that chance. Most of them come from that 2011 side that went to the African Youth Championships, but then we have also brought in some newer Under-20 players from the team I was coaching previously. It is a good mix.”

Lesotho were finalists in the COSAFA Castle Cup in 2000 but lost to Zimbabwe. They also finished fourth in 2013.

The side has been drawn with Malawi, Angola and Mauritius in Group A in the first round of the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup, with South Africa in wait in the quarterfinals for the winner of that pool.

Lesotho squad:

Goalkeepers: Liteboho Mokhehle, Daniel Jousse, Shokhoe Samuel Matsoai

Defenders: Kopano Tseka, Basia Makepe, Bokang Sello, Mafa Moremoholo, Nkesi Rankhasa, Sepiriti Malefane

Midfielders: Montoeli Sonopo, Jeremia Kamela, Hlompho Kalake, Kefuoe Mahula, Jane Thaba-Ntšo, Phafa Tšosane, Mabuti Potloane

Forwards: Thabo Seakhoa, Seturumane Tšepo, Tumelo Khutlang, Sera Motebang