Johannesburg – Polokwane City chairman Johnny Mogaladi on Tuesday refused to name the local coach they are pursuing, but people close to the negotiations have revealed Clinton Larsen is in line to fill the position left vacant by Duncan Lechesa.
City have gone close to three weeks without a coach after parting ways with Lechesa just four matches into the season, but they could finally name someone to take over, with a deal to bring in Larsen set to be concluded this week.
“All I can tell you right now is that the deal is 90 percent done. It’s close to being finalised. I can’t tell you his name, but he is a local coach. This is someone we have been talking to for a while,” Mogaladi said.
City representatives are in the Free State negotiating a deal to bring Larsen on board and the coach has apparently asked to be given time, a day or two, to think about what has been put on the table by the club.
Larsen on Tuesday said he knows City chairman Mogaladi, but made it clear that he has not been contacted by anyone at the club following his resignation at Bloemfontein Celtic on Monday.
“I know the chairman of Polokwane City but he has not contacted me. Until I get a call from the chairman, I can’t say I have been contacted. People can say they have contacted me, but it’s not true,” said Larsen, who had a successful three seasons at Celtic before quitting, a day after a 4-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout.
Another coach City have been in contact with recently is Mngqithi, who ditched Golden Arrows on Saturday after a 3-2 victory over Bidvest Wits. His resignation came as a surprise to midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni, the Arrows captain who just last month had a go at the coach in a public rant, questioning his tactics – before later apologising.
“It’s unfortunate that he resigned early. He is a good coach and I think he needed time because we have a lot of youngsters. They had to gel with the rest of the team. Things have been tough, but we are hanging in there,” he said.
“We players had a good relationship with Manqoba Mngqithi. He promoted most of us from the reserve side. So hearing that he resigned was not good, it’s something we did not expect. I thought things were going to change because we won against Wits. We were confused when we heard the news,” he added.
Mngqithi has also been linked with the job at Celtic, but in a telephone call to Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco, he hung up before making a comment. Celtic assistant coach Boebie Solomons has expressed his desire to take on the role of head coach after Larsen’s departure.
“I’ve been around the block, so coaching is nothing new to me,” said Solomons. “The most important thing is to get players to a new level. And get us moving up the table,” he added before revealing how shocked he was when Larsen quit.
“His decision to leave came as a big shock and we are going to miss him. He made up his mind and there is nothing we can do about it now.”
Solomons, who has worked at Santos, Wits and Black Leopards previously, says Celtic management has not spoken to him about possible candidates to take over Larsen’s old position. “They have not spoken to me about that. All I know is that I have to prepare the team until the club decides on who they want to have as the coach.”
WHO IS WALKING ON THIN ICE?
He is doing fairly well, but has been told by Maritzburg United chairman Farook Kadodia to play a better brand of football or face the axe. He’s had an on and off relationship with Maritzburg and Kadodia’s comments are not likely to please him. He may quit before he gets the boot. He’s German, and they usually play direct football.
A start characterised by disorganisation and incompetence could cost Ertugral his job. Bottom of the table and without a win in five matches, Ajax showed no signs of improvement in their loss to SuperSport United at the weekend. It does not get any easier with Free State Stars and University of Pretoria coming up. He’s in trouble.
The former Bafana Bafana coach was brought in at Mpumalanga Black Aces following his great spell with Wits last season, but things have not gone so well. With just five points in six matches, Barker is by no means safe. Aces’ management are known to be very impatient and failure to pick up points soon will see him make an exit.
Roger de Sa
It’s no secret Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza wants the Champions League trophy in his cabinet, and if Roger de Sa does not deliver the title, especially after losing out on the MTN8 at the back end of last month, the former Bidvest Wits could get the boot. Some feel the club’s Champions League run is the only reason why he still has a job.