Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football writer
2 minute read
31 Aug 2020
7:20 pm

‘Given time and trust, coaches can bring good results’, says City’s Larsen

Sibongiseni Gumbi

When Clinton Larsen was given time and trusted with the signing of players at Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows, he had his best results as a coach, the Polokwane City said.

Clinton Larsen, Coach of Polokwane City. (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

Larsen won the Telkom Knockout and finished in the top eight in his first stint at Celtic between 2009 and 2012, and he credits that to the patience from the club’s management.

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“Yes, I have definitely been given a fair chance at two clubs,” Larsen told a South African Football Journalists Association (Safja) media conference last week.

“At first it was at Celtic. I was the head coach from the 2009/10 season. And two years later we won the Telkom Knockout which was in my third season. I was given a chance to build the team and get the type of players that I wanted and believed would fit into my style of play.

“I brought the likes of Lyle Lakay, Keagan Buchanan, John Arwuah, Dominic Isaacs and so forth… players who fit into the way that I wanted my team to play.

“And I got success because I never finished outside of the top eight. I was given time and the rewards were there for everyone to see,” he said.

Larsen was then given another fair chance at Abafana Bes’thende. “And then it was at Arrows. I got there in mid-season, stabilised the team and finished ninth. I remember we only lost out on the eighth position when SuperSport United scored in the 90th minute to knock us out of the top eight.

“The following two seasons I finished seventh and eighth respectively. So, if you look at those two teams, I was given the time and room to bring in the type of players I wanted in my team. I brought in the likes of Musa Bilankulu, Lerato Lamola and Danny Venter, who I knew could play and influence the way I wanted to coach my teams,” explained Larsen.

The mentor who is currently with Polokwane City who have tasked him with saving them from relegation in January, said it depends at how a club is run as to how much influence the coach has in player recruitment.

“Unfortunately not every coach is given time as we have seen and that’s what makes it difficult in the Premier League… not every coach is given the flexibility to bring the players he wants.

“It’s different horses for different races… Some clubs operate differently in that the managers sign the players and you coach them. Other coaches are involved in bringing in players. It depends on the club’s structure and how that club is operated,” he explained.

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