Clinton Larsen has a positive outlook for the new year for his tea. Photo: BackpagePix
The arrival of midfielder Danny Venter and the promotion of youngster Thabani Zuke could be the highlight of Golden Arrows’ transfer business before the start of the second round of the Absa Premiership next weekend.

The Durban side is more of a selling club, and veteran midfielder Venter’s move from Free State Stars is a rare transfer for Arrows.

However the 30-year-old utility attacking midfielder was inactive at Free State and it wouldn’t have cost Arrows much to get their man.

At a club dominated by youngsters, Venter’s experience comes in handy.

That’s besides the qualities he brings as a winger or central midfielder, said coach Clinton Larsen, who reunites with the player he worked with at previous club Bloemfontein Celtic.

“I know him from Celtic, and (assistant coach) Mandla (Ncikazi) worked with him at Free State Stars, so we know what he can bring to the team. We were surprised he was not being used frequently, so the two teams spoke and we are delighted to secure his services,” said the Arrows coach.

“Danny can play wide on the left or right, or central, so he brings versatility, experience, and ticks a lot of the boxes.

“It will bring good competition in the midfield for (Siphelele) Magubane, (Velemseni) Ndwandwe, (Wayde) Jooste and Yusuf Jappie.”

Jooste had a quiet first half of the campaign where “he struggled for a bit of form”, but Larsen looked forward to him coming back “sharper” once the season resumes next weekend with a clash away to former club Celtic.

Arrows are placed 10th in the standings, within sight of a top eight finish for a second successive season. For a club of Arrows’ stature anything better would be a bonus, and Larsen is hopeful of banking 22 to 24 points in the second round to challenge for positions six, seven or eight.

While satisfied with the attack, Larsen says the improved defence will enjoy greater depth with the promotion of Zuke. The Under-20 international, a gold medallist at the recent Cosafa U20 Championships, steps up from the Multichoice Diski reserve team to compete with Musa Bilankulu, Danny Phiri and Nkanyiso Cele for a defensive midfield slot.

Zuke will be among several juniors promoted to the first team to make up for the expected lack of transfer window activity.

To balance the books Abafana Bes’thende “mutually agreed to release Vuyani Ntanga”, Larsen confirmed. Another former signing from Celtic, the attacking midfielder didn’t quite fit into the Arrows set-up since his arrival two seasons ago.

The Mercury

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