Thabo Senong has named his provisional squad to prepare for the upcoming COSAFA tournament.
The squad was announced yesterday at a press conference at Bambatha Tšita Sport Arena in Maseru. The COSAFA Cup will be held in South Africa from 2 to 19 July 2021.
The 36-man squad saw Senong leaving out eight players from the squad that performed poorly in a tri-nation friendly tournament in Mozambique earlier this month. The team lost 5-0 to hosts Mozambique and were edged 1-0 by eSwatini.
Some notable names that were dropped from the squad include Bantu's Hlompho Kalake, Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Litšepe Marabe, and Tšoanelo Koetle.
Koetle was last week named as one of the players who misbehaved during the Mozambique trip. Bantu's Tau Masiu is also not part of the squad.
Matlama's first choice goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane and Thabo Matšoele, who was allegedly caught on camera entering into Likuena team manager Lehlohonolo Matlosa and stealing M1400, have both been left out. Matšoele however, returned the money.
When the team returned from Mozambique last week, Senong said he would leave out some players from his COSAFA squad.
Yesterday Senong said his choices on the squad were influenced by the players' performance.
"COSAFA is one tournament that gives our players exposure, we assessed players and called those who raised their hands," Senong said.
"Our domestic league is currently active that helped us to select players.
"We have selected young players to refresh the squad while maintaining a few experienced players. The objective of the tournament is to give players exposure, to build a team for AFCON and CHAN qualifiers and obviously; to perform well in the tournament."
According to Senong the Mozambique tour helped him identify players who are ready to play for Likuena and who respect the national team badge. He said doors remain open for the players who have been excluded. The final squad will be announced later this month.
New faces in the squad are Likhopo striker Thabiso Mari, Matlama winger Khemisi Moteloa and Linare midfielder Koenehelo Mothala.
Goalkeepers are Sekhoane Moerane, Teboho Ratibisi and Jessy Matsie. The defenders are Thabang Malane, Mokoteli Mohapi, Thabo Mongali, Bokang Sello, Lesia Thetsane, Kopano Tseka, Lisema Lebokollane, Basia Makepe, Nkau Lerotholi, Rethabile Rasethuntša, Shali Lekhotla and Kabai Mohlatsane.
The Midfielders are Thabo Lesaoana, Koenehelo Mothala, Tumelo Ngatane, Tšepo Toloane, Koete Mohloai, Tšeole Ranthimo, Tšoarelo Bereng, Neo Mokhachane, Jane Tšotleho, Tumelo Khutlang, Tumelo Makha, Lehlohonolo Fothoane, Napo Matsoso, Khemisi Moteloa, Jane Thabantšo and Thabo Seakhoa.
The strikers are Thabiso Mari, Thabiso Brown, Motebang Sera, Nkoto Masoabi and Monyatheli Ntobo.