Larsen takes swipe at Celtic
Clinton Larsen (Gallo Images)
Pietermaritzburg - Newly appointed Maritzburg United coach Clinton Larsen believes he is joining a club with better quality players than his previous club Bloemfontein Celtic after he was unveiled on Tuesday.
The 42-year-old resigned from his post as Celtic boss eight days ago and was announced as the new man for the job at a press conference in Pietermaritzburg.
Larsen has signed a three-year deal with the Team of Choice and effectively trades places with his predecessor Ernst Middendorp.
Middendorp stepped down as Maritzburg coach on Thursday and has since taken over at Celtic.
"I felt that it was time for a change and I felt I'd grown enough as a coach to take on this new challenge," Larsen said in Pietermaritzburg.
"I honestly believe that the team (Maritzburg) has been underachieving for the last few seasons. It boggles me how the team has not finished in the top eight and that is what I have come here to do.
"I know with the support of management, my technical team and the players, we will achieve this. I've done it in the last three seasons and I feel I've done it with a lesser squad in terms of quality."
Larsen is regarded as one of the most highly-rated young coaches in South Africa after his successful stint in Bloemfontein, where he led Celtic to three consecutive top-eight finishes and also won the Telkom Knockout last season.
He first began coaching Maritzburg in the PSL, working as assistant to Gordon Igesund in the 2008/09 campaign.
"I'm finally back home after five years," Larsen said.
"This is where it all started for me in terms of coaching in the Premiership and I'm ecstatic to be back.
"A lot has happened between then and now.
"It was time for a change.
I was at Bloemfontein Celtic for three seasons as head coach and it was a challenge to take the post, but I thoroughly enjoyed it."
Larsen paid tribute to the work Middendorp had done at Maritzburg.
"Apart from looking at the set-up that is in place, I believe the former coach has done a very good job in terms of laying a solid foundation for me to build on," he said.
"It's only fair that I mention that. It's going to make my job easier because of the work he put in to the team."
The former Orlando Pirates and Manning Rangers midfielder also set his sights on United breaching the 40-point barrier for the first time in the league.
"I'm not here to make up the numbers," Larsen said.
"I'm very ambitious, I want to continue keeping my record of being associated with the top teams in this league and that's what I want to bring to Maritzburg United.
"Part of that is breaking records and I'm to do that."
His first match in the hotseat will be against SuperSport United in a PSL encounter next week.