Thursday, 10 October 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Clinton Larsen on leaving Bloemfontein Celtic: I was NOT forced out. There was NO interference

Time off: Celtic head coach Clinton Larsen
CLINTON LARSEN revealed the full background to his shock resignation at Bloemfontein Celtic this week insisting there was “no interference” during his reign as head coach in Mangaung.

Larson left after the 4-0 TelkomKO defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend, insisting: “I have not made any decision on where I’m going.”

Talking on my football show BOLLOCKZ! on www.ballz.co.za (see video below), Larsen told me: “It was a long time coming, three to four weeks. To summarise the season so far, I was not happy as the head coach with the results we were getting.”

Former Orlando Pirates and Manning Rangers midfielder Larsen, 42, departs with his fanatically-followed Phunya Sele Sele a mediocre 11th in the PSL and OUT of both the pre-Christmas knock-out competitions.

As frank as ever, the man who publicly berated referees for their “big club” bias earlier this season said: “I took the decision myself to leave the club and let Bloemfontein Celtic move forward. I had four great years and the club, never been out of the first eight – I just felt it was right to step back and let a new man take on the challenge.

“I’ll definitely stay in the game, I love it too much. It was a very emotional decision. I’ve come to love the club and the people at the club. I was NOT forced out. I could have stayed for a big pay-out but I remain on good terms with the chairman Jimmy Augousti and who knows what could happen in the future?

“I like the job I do, I enjoy going to work on a daily basis. Next week I’ll see my agent and find out who has been in touch.

“I’m still in Bloemfontein but I will be going on holiday with the family for two weeks. I know Polokwane City have been in touch but I will not make a rushed decision. That isn’t my style.

“At this point Boebie Solomons is interim boss at Celtic. I have no idea what the club are planning. I’ve got a great relationship with Boebie. A lot of people think he wanted my job but that’s not the case.

“They don’t have to look much further than Boebie for a great manager.”

With memories of last season’s Telkom KO final triumph over Sundowns still firmly in mind (who can forget the Augousti victory dance at the Moses Mabhida last December?), Larsen insisted: “I want to categorically state there was no interference from ANYBODY at the club from the day I started when I was working under Owen da Gama four years ago.


“I would not have stayed if there was any interference. I got the full support of the management and technical director Mich D’Avray. Nobody ever influenced team selection, training or tactics. I left on my terms.”

With this afternoon's departure of Ernst Middendorp at Maritzburg United, Larsen could be almost immediately replaced by the 54-year-old German with the "team of choice" now an option for Clinton.

That would continue the managerial merry-go-round following Mark Harrison's shift from Chippa United to Golden Arrows, bringing the total PSL coaching departures this season to FOUR including Duncan Lechesa's initial termination at Polokwane City nearly a month ago. 




BOLLOCKZ! my show on www.ballz.co.za, airs every Thursday from 9am. See the Ballz channel on www.YouTube.com for our growing collection of interviews with the big names in South African football.


You can also follow me on www.twitter.com/nealcol for all the latest sports news… and read my “Neal and Pray” column every Tuesday inwww.thenewage.co.za.


BOLLOCKZ! is backed by www.topodds.com - have a look at their site for my latest sports betting advice!

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