DURBAN - Independent Media soccer writer Kamlesh Gosai has looked at Golden Arrows and how they could fare in the Premiership this season.
Key player: Musa Bilankulu
Over the past one and a half seasons since Musa Bilankulu rejoined his first professional club after leaving them for Bloemfontein Celtic, Arrows have enjoyed defensive stability.
Whether he plays at the back, or now more often in central midfield, the veteran player is often the standout performer in a relatively young team. More than his performances, it’s his leadership qualities as captain that gives Arrows direction, on and off the park.
Coach: Clinton Larsen
This will be Clinton Larsen’s second full season in charge. His arrival mid-way through the previous campaign ensured stability following promotion, and last season they sneaked into the top eight, the Durbanites beating Orlando Pirates on the last day of the season to deny the revered Soweto side a spot in the season-opening tournament for the first time since the advent of the PSL. His presence lends continuity, and the challenge will be to introduce greater variety to their play with pretty much the same squad.
This is a young team that has potential to grow. Pace is a key weapon in their armoury. The outright purchase of Zimbabwean international striker Knox Mutizwa from Bidvest Wits fits perfectly into their system.
Last season’s transfer business wasn’t successful, with Colombian hitman Mauricio Barrios and Malawian striker Chiukepo Msowoya failing to deliver. They also leaked too many goals. Will things be different this time around?
Reaching the top eight and making a cup final appearance.
Finishing out of the top eight bracket
Best: 5th in 2009
Worst: Relegated in 2014
Goalkeepers: Max Mbaeva, Nkosingiphile Gumede. Defenders: Zolani Nkombelo, Mzwandile Buthelezi, Limbikani Mzava, Siyabonga Dube, Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Matome Mathiane, Nkanyiso Mngwengwe, Musa Bilankulu, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Romario Dlamini. Midfielders: Andile Fikizolo, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Kaleb Parusnath, Wayde Jooste, Nduduzo Sibiya, Siphelele Magubane, Siphamandla Sabelo, Velemseni Ndwandwe, Nkanyiso Cele, Vuyani Ntanga, Seth Parusnath, Lungelo Dube, Thabo Molefe. Strikers: Danny Phiri, Kwanele Hlongwane, Thabani Zuke, Thabiso Mgwaba, Knox Mutizwa, Sibusiso Sibeko, Lerato Lamola