Lesotho national team coach Thabo Senong has named a 31-man provisional squad ahead of the resumption of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for November.

Likuena, as the Lesotho senior national team is affectionately known, will also compete at the 2020 COSAFA Cup, provided the regional tournament takes place as scheduled in Durban in October.

Senong’s squad is dominated by local based players, who have been out of action for over six months after the Lesotho Premier League was suspended due to the Corona virus in March.

Addressing a media briefing this week, the 40-year-old coach, admitted that it was a difficult task selecting the squad due to the long layoff caused by Covid-19.

“It’s a tough one, it’s the first experience we go through, but it’s a very unique situation and you have to be flexible as the coaching staff,” Senong told the media.

“We have to do things that will benefit the national team, benefit the players, benefit us as the Lesotho Football Association and the coaches.

“It was not an easy exercise. The first aspect we tried to look at is continuity. We looked at the squad that was at our disposal, the team that was prepared earlier this year and played a couple of friendly matches.”

Bloemfontein Celtic’s striker Motebang Sera headlines a small group of players plying their trade outside the country while Jane Tšotleho, who has been unattached since parting ways with Louisville City in the United States, makes a return to the national team after a long absence.

Lesotho’s last competitive match was a 4-2 defeat to Nigeria in November, 2019. They will play Benin in back-to-back matches rescheduled for November by the Confederations of African Football (CAF).

“We tried to look at that and said, maybe its advisable to keep the core or a bigger number of that squad, but at the same time, we also had to look at the experience,” added the Lesotho coach.

“With the inactivity that we went through in these past six months, we just felt maybe it’s not advisable to bring in new faces into the team. Its only fair to say, let’s bring experience to make life easy for us as the coaching staff. All we have to do is to work on their fitness and confidence.

“Probably, we have one of two new faces that have made the team because they are talented and have the ability. Some of them had a good run in the season that was interrupted by Covid-19. It’s only fair that to reward them and see how they fair and adapt.

“Sometimes these players can do well at club level, but struggle to adapt at the national team working with different players and coaches,” he said.

Lesotho squad:

Goalkeepers: Ntsane Lichaba, Sekhoane Moerane, Monaheng Ramalefane.

Defenders: Kopano Tseka, Nkau Lerotholi, Motlomelo Mkwanazi, Basia Makepe, Lisema Lebokollane, Bokang Sello, Rethabile Rasethuntsa, Thabang Malane.

Midfielders: Tsepo Toloane, Thaba Lesaoana, Lehlohonolo Fothoane, Jane Tsotleho, Thabo Matsoele, Thabo Seakhoa, Tsoarelo Bereng, Mabuti Potloane, Hlompho Kalake, Tumello Khutlang, Jane Thabantso, Litsepe Marabe, Tumelo Ngatane.

Forwards: Morapeli Lesoetsa, Tsepo Seturumane, Nkoto Masoabi, Motebang Sera, Thapelo Tale, Mokone Marabe, Thabang Rabi.