Sunday, 15 August 2010 22:44

Larsen named as Celtic boss Featured

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Former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana midfielder Clinton Larsen has been appointed as head coach of Bloemfontein Celtic. Larsen replaces Owen da Gama who has joined Platinum Stars after 18 months in charge of Phunya Sele Sele.

He served as Da Gama's assistant last season and beat off other leading contenders, such as Neil Tovey and Gordon Igesund for the job.

The 39-year-old played twice for his country under Clive Barker when Bafana were still new to international soccer in the early 1990s. He was also assistant to Igesund at Pirates and Martizburg United and it will be Larsen's first time as head coach of a PSL club.

His appointment was confirmed by Celtic spokesperson, Petros Augousti. "We opted for Larsen after a thorough evaluation by management and our technical director (Mitch d' Avray) of all the candidates," he said.

"Larsen came out on top after a brilliant presentation of his vision for the future of the club."

Augousti revealed that Larsen was responsible for making a number of the new signings at the club and was held in high regard by the players and management.

He added Larsen's nationality was also a factor in the decision to hire him.

"Going outside the country for a coach means a foreigner needs time to adjust to local players and conditions, while Larsen will be able to hit the ground running."

Celtic have recently bought some decent players in striker Nathan Paulse, on loan from Norwegian club Hammerby IF, Bennett Chenene from Orlando Pirates, Clifford Mulenga - the 2007 African Youth Player of the Year from Mpumalanga Black Aces, plus two players who helped SuperSport United win three successive Premiership titles in left-back Tsietsie Mahoa and midfield anchor Hlompo Kekana.

Larsen faces a tough baptism when Celtic meet Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-finals of the MTN8 trophy in two weeks' time.

The tournament launch and draw for home ground advantage will be made on Thursday.

"With the tremendous support we generate in Bloemfontein and the fact we beat Chiefs at home last season, we are keeping fingers crossed for a home tie," said Augousti.

"It will be a great start to what we believe will be a bumper season for a new-look Celtic."