Clinton Larsen Not Desperate

Returns to the big-time

After spending four years in the DStv Premiership wilderness, coach Clinton Larsen is excited about his return to the big-time, but the Durban-born mentor insists he’s not desperate for it.

Clinton Larsen is excited about his return to the big-time (Pic – Nokwanda Zondi/BackpagePix)

The 53-year-old Larsen returned to the limelight after he guided the little-known Magesi FC to the Motsepe Foundation Championship (MFC) crown and automatic promotion to the top tier on Sunday.

Larsen had not been coaching in the league where he enjoyed success as both a player and mentor since 2020 after parting ways with Polokwane City.

After that, the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United tactician became a forgotten man and dropped down to accept a coaching gig in the amateur ranks of local football.

From 2021, Larsen oversaw Durban-based ABC Motsepe League side Summerfield Dynamos.

He then returned to the professional ranks in January 2023 when the former Orlando Pirates midfielder was trusted to lead Magesi in the less fashionable MFC.

As a coach who had tasted the lavish life of being in the lucrative top tier and even lifting the Telkom Knockout (now Carling Knockout) with Celtic in 2012, some viewed his recent journey as a downgrade.

In a wide-ranging interview with Hollywoodbets Sports, Larsen revealed that coaching is no longer about the glitz and glamour but about satisfying his personal passion.

Larsen revealed that coaching is no longer about the glitz and glamour (Pic – Brian Rikhotso/BackpagePix)

“(What my journey) says about me is that I love coaching, I love my job and I don’t care what level I’m coaching in, as long as I’m in the game, that’s the most important thing,” Larsen said.

“I just think there’s an obsession with coaches who want to coach in the topflight because of money and financial gains. That’s the reason why most coaches want to coach in the PSL.

“Not because they have the passion, not because they have the capabilities. It’s all about remuneration and that’s the wrong thing to chase.

“For me, football changed my life. I was in the PSL for 10 years, and I’m not obsessed with going to coach in the PSL.

“I’ve always said if it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, I can still work in any division.

“As long as I’m on the training field, nothing changes regardless of the division.

“It’s still a grass field, it’s 11 players and like I said, the reason for most coaches to coach in the PSL is for financial gains. I know that personally. And for me, it’s not about that,” Larsen said.

Having secured automatic promotion with two games to play, Larsen said this has afforded the top-tier newbies ample time to prepare for life in the lucrative but strenuous Premiership.

The coach emphasised the need to plan and act meticulously to avoid a situation where they are swiftly axed back into the MFC.

“Firstly, the positive thing is that we’ve got time (because) we didn’t go through the playoffs and that (planning) process has started already this morning (Monday) actually,” Larsen said.

“The process of meeting, talking, recruiting, looking at pre-contracts, our list of players to retain and who we need to bring on board.

“All these things have already started because I don’t want to be caught up in a situation like that of Cape Town Spurs.

“So, we’ve got to start working very hard from now and at least it gives us some extra time now that we’ve clinched the title with two games to go.”

Magesi face Casric Stars at Giyani Stadium on Sunday at 15h00 and they will lift the trophy a week later against Venda Football Academy at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.


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