Larson going for two out of two
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.