DURBAN - The thunder was literally taken out of the Absa Premiership’s announcement for the player and coach of the month awards when a torrential storm that hit Durban on Tuesday and forced the event to be cancelled.
Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen didn’t really mind, because even though he was selected as the first Coach of the Month for the season he felt that the accolade was not entirely his.
Larsen guided Arrows to an unbeaten start of three wins and four draws, which took them top of the standings on several occasions.
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune took the Player of the Month award after he was voted Man of the Match for three games in succession during August and September.
Larsen shared the honour with his assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi, and the club’s development coaches Papi Zothwane, Vusumuzi Vilakazi and Lindani Shezi.
“While it’s nice to get these awards, it is a collective effort because the entire technical team contributes. We are not a one-man show. More so here at Arrows, where the development coaches also get involved.”
During their bright start Abafana Bes’thende won at Bidvest Wits, AmaZulu and Platinum Stars.
The judging panel were impressed by the continuation of the exciting display Larsen's produced last season; keeping the core of his team, smartly managing to blend youth and experience well, and grinding out victories despite the modest resources at his disposal.
He put their performance down to “good off-season planning and continuity”.
“The power of continuity is often overlooked. We got on with the core of the squad, and I’m not surprised we got off to the start we have. In the first month or two you don’t want to be in the relegation zone, and I’m happy that we’ve never been in that situation,” Larsen said
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Sport, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, expressed her condolences on the death of Maritzburg United midfielder Mlondi Dlamini: “On behalf of the department I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the Dlamini family, friends and the entire football family.” she said.
A memorial service will take place at the AF Wood Hall on Wednesday at 6pm.