Why Arrows coach Larsen is happy to see back of the 2017/2018 PSL season
Lamontville Golden Arrows players are only due back for pre-season on June 18‚ but coach Clinton Larsen will be working right through as he plots their campaign next season that includes the MTN8.
Larsen admits this has been a “strange season that many PSL coaches would love to forget”‚ and there remains uncertainty even while the Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs are underway.
Golden Arrows are due to face league champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinals of that competition in early August‚ though should Ajax Cape Town be successful in their application to have the findings of arbiter William Mokhari aside‚ then Golden Arrows could climb back up to seventh and will be away at Orlando Pirates instead.
The club will be releasing some players in the coming weeks‚ though Larsen says while negotiations with them are on-going he cannot reveal names‚ while they will be signing two foreign players as well.
“We are in talks with a few players that are currently playing at PSL clubs as we are looking at bolstering a few positions. We will be having trials for foreign players as well.”
Larsen also reveals that they will be seeing thousands of hopefuls for their successful MultiChoice Diski Challenge team‚ which is keeping him busy.
“We had trials for our Diski team this past weekend and over 2000 kids showed up‚ most of those from outside of KwaZulu-Natal. We will be holding more trials in the coming weeks as well‚ so this is a very busy time.”
Larsen says the achievement of two successive qualifications for the MTN8 cannot be underestimated for a side that just a few seasons ago were campaigning in the National First Division.
“It shows the stability at the club‚ it is never easy for a team coming from the NFD‚ but in the last three seasons we have managed to be competitive and stable.
“It has been a strange season that many PSL coaches would love to forget‚ but I am proud of the way the boys coped.
“We started the season really well but then had a horrific run of injuries‚ with the loss of Kuda Mahachi‚ Danny Phiri and Lehlohonolo Nonyane particularly hurting us and we fell away.
“But when we got that players back towards the end of the season‚ we were able to put in a strong finish and win a top eight place‚ which is massive for the club.”
Larsen says even at this early stage he is relishing an MTN8 quarterfinal against either Sundowns or Pirates.
“These are the games that clubs like Golden Arrows look forward to‚ games were we are not given a chance to win‚” he said.
“When you play the likes of Maritzburg United‚ Free State Stars or Cape Town City‚ there is more pressure because we see them as equals and we expect to win those types of games.
“It will be a good gauge of our early season form and a test of our preparation for the new season.”