Lar­son go­ing for two out of two

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - SPORT - MINENHLE MKHIZE SOC­CER WRITER STU­ART HESS CRICKET WRITER NEVILLE MOTLHABAKWE SPORT RE­PORTER

CLIN­TON Larsen is tar­get­ing his sec­ond Telkom Knock­out tri­umph with La­montville Golden Ar­rows this time around hav­ing won the same knock­out com­pe­ti­tion with Bloem­fontein Celtic in 2012.

The Went­worth born tac­tian will wel­come Baroka FC at home in the first round of the this year’s TKO.

The Premier Soc­cer League (PSL) will re­lease proper date and venues in due course.

Larsen won his maiden tri­umph as coach back in 2012 when he was still at Bloem­fontein Celtic.

His first piece sil­ver­ware hap­pened to be the TKO. He won it at the ex­pense of Mamelodi Sun­downs at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Durban.

Larsen wants to go as far as pos­si­ble in this year’s edi­tion of the TKO.

“Ev­ery small team are al­ways look­ing for­ward to cup com­pe­ti­tions. We are also a small team. We will try and have a good run and see if we can have the sil­ver­ware,” op­ti­mistic Larsen ex­plained.

Ar­rows haven’t won the cup since break­ing their duck in an em­phatic fash­ion in 2009 when they ham­mered Ajax Cape Town 6-0 to lift the MTN8 crown at Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto.

They came close in 2017 reach­ing the semi fi­nals of the Ned­bank Cup but­suc­cumbed to a 1-0 de­feat against Or­lando Pi­rates at Princess Ma­gogo Sta­dium in KwaMashu.

“The chances of us do­ing a Le­ices­ter City (who shocked the masses in 2015/16 to win the English Premier League af­ter al­most get­ting rel­e­gated in 2014/15) are al­most im­pos­si­ble in the PSL with the strength of the big four (Mamelodi Sun­downs, Bid­vest Wits, Or­lando Pi­rates and Kaizer Chiefs). We will al­ways be gun­ning for the cup. This cup is only the 16th Premier League teams. Some­times if the draw favours you, you get a lit­tle of luck along the way, end­ing up in the semi fi­nal or in the fi­nal. Hope­fully we will try and achieve that this sea­son,” he added.

Abafana Bes’thende are the only side from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) un­der the PSL era to lift the knock­out com­pe­ti­tion. Man­ning Rangers won the in­au­gu­ral league cham­pi­onship in 1996/97.

They also lost against Moroka Swal­lows 3-1 in the fi­nal of the ABSA Cup in 2004.

Ar­rows lifted the MTN8 in 2009 and AmaZulu were dis­patched by Bid­vest Wits in the fi­nal of the Ned­bank Cup in 2010.

Last sea­son, Mar­itzburg United went all the way to the fi­nal of the Ned­bank Cup but stum­bled at the last hur­dle as they lost 1-0 to Free State Stars. CRICKET South Africa re­main hope­ful that young off-spin­ner Rais­ibe Ntoza­khe will be part of the South African Women’s squad at the World T20 tour­na­ment next month, even if that means she leaves a lit­tle bit later than her team­mates.

Ntoza­khe, 21, was sus­pended by the sport’s gov­ern­ing body, the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil on Tues­day, just hours af­ter she was in­cluded in the 15-player squad for the event which will be held in the West Indies, be­cause her bowl­ing ac­tion was deemed il­le­gal.

Ntoza­khe, an off-spin­ner, is un­der­go­ing re­me­dial work at Cricket SA’s Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence un­der the watch­ful eye of High Per­for­mance man­ager, Vin­cent Barnes. Cricket SA are hop­ing to have Ntoza­khe tested again be­fore the end of the month, and if that is a suc­cess she can join her team­mates in the Caribbean.

Ntoza­khe’s ac­tion was re­ported af­ter the first One-Day In­ter­na­tional be­tween South Africa and the West Indies on Septem­ber 16 and she then un­der­went an in­de­pen­dent assess­ment of her ac­tion at the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria 12 days later. “The assess­ment re­vealed that all of her de­liv­er­ies ex­ceeded the 15 de­grees level of tol­er­ance per­mit­ted un­der the reg­u­la­tions,” the ICC said in a state­ment on Tues­day.

By yes­ter­day Cricket SA even­tu­ally re­sponded to the sus­pen­sion with the fed­er­a­tion’s CEO, Tha­bang Moroe say­ing the tim­ing was “in­op­por­tune.”

Had CSA with­drawn Ntoza­khe on Tues­day and her tests later this month cleared her ac­tion, she would not have been al­lowed back into the squad, hence the de­ci­sion to in­clude her de­spite the ICC’s sus­pen­sion.

Ntoza­khe was present at a squad photo-shoot on Wed­nes­day, which will form part of a pro­mo­tional cam­paign ahead of the tour­na­ment.

While CSA said the se­lec­tion panel would dis­cuss a pos­si­ble re­place­ment, The Star/IOL un­der­stands that the first prize for CSA and the se­lec­tors would be to have Ntoza­khe re­assessed and her ac­tion cleared.

The Women’s World T20 tour­na­ment starts on Novem­ber 9. Dane van Niek­erk’s team will play its open­ing match on Novem­ber 13. The team will head for the Caribbean on Oc­to­ber 23, where it will have a train­ing camp and play a few warm-up matches. RICH­MOND United FC are in con­tention for the top hon­ours of the in­land stream of the Sa­sol Women’s League as the con­fer­ence pre­pares to close shop and make way for the in­tro­duc­tion of the highly an­tic­i­pated pro­fes­sional league in the new sea­son.

Rich­mond cur­rently leads the in­land con­fer­ence with 33 points af­ter win­ning all 11 matches in the seven team league. The club scored 101 goals while only con­ced­ing a to­tal of six in that pe­riod.

Hav­ing con­ceded fewer goals than they have scored, is likely to serve United well as they head into the likely play-offs with the top team from the league’s coastal con­fer­ence – Kaka­mas-based RC Mills.

But be­fore the play-offs Rich­mond has one more fix­ture to ful­fil against sec­ond-placed Galeshewe Ladies FC at the Rich­mond sports grounds on Satur­day in a match start­ing at 3pm,be­fore their sea­son wraps up.

How­ever, Rich­mond could even stay at home and still re­main un­trou­bled at the top of the log where they have a five-point lead over Satur­day’s op­po­nents, who are at 28 points.

Mean­while, in the coastal stream, RC Mills, which is coin­ci­den­tally owned and man­aged by the Safa pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Willem Co­et­zee, cur­rently leads the pack with 27 points af­ter 11 games. Mills have won eight of the 11 games out of the sea­son’s com­ple­ment of 12 fix­tures. They drew three games, scored 45 goals and only con­ceded 10.

Mills comes up against Ku­ru­man-based Sesh­eng Ladies at the Sesh­eng grounds on Satur­day af­ter­noon at 3pm. Mills holds an unas­sail­able points lead in the coastal con­fer­ence with a nine­point gap be­tween them­selves and chasers Tl­hap­ing Flow­ers also of Ku­ru­man.

With a sin­gle fix­ture re­main­ing it is un­likely that any team will catch up even if they were to lose Satur­day’s fix­ture.

Word at Safa head­quar­ters has it that the Sa­sol League will likely serve as a feeder to the women’s pro­fes­sional league which will have 12 teams made up of the nine pro­vin­cial win­ners of the Sa­sol League and a team each from Mamelodi Sun­downs and Bloem­fontein Celtic.

A Univer­sity Sports SA side will make up the num­bers.

The new pro­fes­sional league will ini­tially not have a pro­mo­tion/rel­e­ga­tion sys­tem for the first two years of op­er­a­tion, af­ter which pe­riod the team num­bers may be grad­u­ally in­creased.

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