Lebetsa delighted with Likuena call-up
Linare youngster ‘Mellere ‘Miller’ Lebetsa is over the moon to have made the Likuena’s preliminary squad for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Comoros and the COSAFA Cup scheduled for June and July respectively.
The 22-year-old has impressed playing for Linare, who are in second place in the Vodacom Premier League under the mentorship of Leslie Notsi.
He is among a group of youngsters in the Likuena squad that are yet to win caps for the senior team alongside the likes of Seahlolo Mosoeu, Koenehelo Mothala, Lelula Phoshuli, Mokoteli Mohapi and Makhetha Mohlomi.
“It’s very exciting and a big honour for me to be handed this opportunity to train with the national team,” Lebetsa stated.
“To be honest, it has always been a dream for me to one day find myself playing for the senior national team because I got a chance with the under-20 in 2019 playing at the COSAFA Cup in Zambia.”
The young defender explained that having several of his seniors from Linare helped him settle quickly into the national team set-up.
“It was not really of a big challenge for me to adapt after the call-up to train with Likuena as a I have a number of my teammates from Linare, who have been with Likuena for some time,” the 22-year-old said.
He stated that he looks up to experienced defender Rethabile Rasethuntṧa, who has been part of the Likuena setup for the last three years and is also one of the captains at Linare.
“He is one play I look up to since I joined Linare from Nyenye Rovers in 2019 because I think he is a very focused player, who is disciplined on and off the field.
“It’s not a surprise that he has been part of the national team set-up for such a long time because he has been consistent for Linare and I would like to emulate his successes,” he said.
Lebetsa said he will make the best out of the opportunity handed to him by the Likuena coach to continue where he left off during his time with the national under-20 side, Makoanyane XI.
“I know there is still a long way to go for me as a new face in the team, but just being part of the team says a lot about my potential to one day represent my country at the highest level,” the Linare defender said.
“I tasted international football before with the under-20 playing the likes of Mozambique and Mauritius at the COSAFA Championship held in Zambia in 2019, unfortunately I missed out on other games through injury.
“Age is still on my side and with opportunities like this, I have no doubt that I will become a better player for Linare and the national team,” he said.
Lebetsa is part of the Linare squad trailing Bantu by four points going into the last two fixtures in the race for the Vodacom Premier League title.