Ramabele proud to maintain family legacy
Likuena defender Tṧiame Ramabele is over the moon to have successfully followed in the footsteps of elder brother, Lehlomela and late uncle, Ntsane by being the latest member of his family to don the national team colours.
Ramabele is among new faces that have impressed since their selection into the national team by Veselin Jelusic, who took over the reins as Likuena coach in February.
The lanky defender has grabbed the opportunity with both hands after making the final squad for the TotalEnergies 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers ahead of several big-name players that did not make the final cut.
Ramabele was impressive in Likuena’s recent friendly matches against Namibia and Ethiopia, where he partnered Kopano Tseka in the heart of the defence in the first two matches while in the last match was paired alongside captain Basia Makepe.
His late uncle, Ntsane was a member of the Likuena squad coached by the late April ‘Styles’ Phumo, clinched the famous 2-0 victory over Cameroon at Setsoto Stadium in 1994.
Meanwhile, Lehlomela came to prominence playing for the Leslie Notṧi’s Makoanyane XI that qualified for the African Youth Championship in 2011, where he was the joint top goal-scorer of the qualifiers alongside Tsebang Lebata with four goals.
Lehlomela later graduated to the senior team and will be remembered for scoring the solitary goal as Likuena clinched a 1-0 victory over Burundi at Setsoto Stadium, to eventually win the two-legged 2014 World Cup preliminary round tie 3-2 on aggregate.
“It’s an honour for me to follow in the footsteps of my uncle and brother, who played for the national team and inspired me to walk that journey as well,” Ramabele says.
“The call up to the national team was a bit of a surprise for me to be honest as its only in the first round that coach Motheo Mohapi converted me from a defender to playing as a striker.
“It all feels like a dream because I recall how a few years back, I used to ask my brother to provide me with match tickets to watch him play for the national team.”