sports

July 23, 2021

TEBOHO JAFETA

4 min read

The rock-hard defender, unparalleled skipper, Tlali “King Cabazela” Maile

The rock-hard defender, unparalleled skipper, Tlali “King Cabazela” Maile

Former Bantu FC captain Tlali 'King Cabezela' Maile (right)

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FORMER Bantu FC rock-hard defender, Tlali “King Cabezela” Maile has had a successful career as one of the team’s leading and longest serving captains.

His leadership traits were always an advantage to his side and his amazing foresight helped the Mafeteng-based outfit to three back-to-back Independence Cup titles.

He also brought a lot of success to the team during his glorious eight-year stint with A MatšoMatebele.

During his playing days, the tough-marking back-liner also had a knack for goals and was considered as some kind of a penalty-kick specialist.

Under his captainship, the Lesotho Premier League powerhouse won a total of seven gold medals.

‘King Cabazela’ as he was affectionately known among his fans previously won two consecutive league trophies with his former team, FC Likhopo during the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 seasons. He later won two more league trophies with Bantu FC during the 2013/2014 and 2016/2017 seasons.

He also won the Independence Cup four times with Bantu FC in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 before he went on to win the LNIG Top 8 Championship with the club in 2015, bringing the total of gold medals he collected as captain for A Matšo Matebele to seven.

Maile is also considered as one of Likuena’s best marksmen after he netted an overall of five goals in the COSAFA championships.

He made a name for himself in the 2013 COSAFA Cup, when he converted four goals and scored another in 2015, displaying his amazing prowess in the box.

As an upcoming coach, he holds a football coaching C License certificate he obtained in 2017.

Born on September 9, 1984, Tlali Maile is the son of Ntsane and ’Mamotsieleng Maile of Ha Abia, Maseru.

He did his primary education at the Holy Innocent Primary School in Ha Abia from 1992 until 1994. He moved to Iketsetseng Private School in 1995 and completed his Standard Seven in 1998.

He proceeded to Adventville High school in 1999 where he obtained his Junior Certificate in 2001 and later obtained a Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) in 2003.

He obtained a certificate in Electrical Installation at the Lerotholi Polytechnic (Fokothi) in 2009.

He began playing football as a Standard Four learner at Iketsetseng in 1995.

“I first played for my home teams in Ha Abia, including Red Arrows FC under the mentorship of Mpho Lesia and Thapelo Makatsa. I also played for Peace Makers under the tutelage of Mosebo Motsoasele,” he recalls.

He was later groomed by the late Bishop Molatoli at FC Likhopo as a young footballer, before joining Lerotholi Polytechnic side “Lihale” between 2006 and 2009.

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He signed with Bantu in 2009 and remained with the team until his retirement in 2017.

“As an upcoming footballer, I was specially attracted by Lekoane Computer Lekoane’s style of play,” he says.

He considers Motheo Mohapi and Leslie Notsi as the best coaches he has ever worked under as they introduced him to the senior national squad, Likuena at an early age.

Before graduating to Likuena, Maile played for the national Under-20 side Makoanyane XI and also captained the youthful team.

Maile who also became Likuena captain scored a crucial 20th minute penalty kick which put Lesotho in the lead, even though his team eventually lost 2-1 to Bafana Bafana as South Africa clinched the third place at the 2013 COSAFA Cup.

Upon retirement, he joined the B-Division side Mafeteng Stars as assistant coach to Caswell Moru in 2018 and coached the club until March 2021 when he joined CF RYDO as the first assistant coach.

The newly promoted Mafeteng based A-Division side CF RYDO is coached by Kabelo Ramolula alongside Maile’s former teammate at Bantu, Tšoloane Mosakeng who is the second assistant coach.

His worst moment as a player was when Bantu went down 4-2 to Lioli during the LNIG Top 8 Cup semi-final in 2017.

His best moments as a player include winning two league championships with FC Likhopo and leading A Matšo Matebele to their seven gold medals as captain.

He is currently working at the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) as electrician. He is married to ’Mabohlokoa Maile and the couple has two children, a boy and a girl.

Apart from football, Maile enjoys traveling.  

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