Chippa United coach unfazed by Orlando Pirates duo snub

Gladwin Shitolo has left Pirates to go train with to Golden Arrows instead of Chippa United./Veli Nhlapo
Gladwin Shitolo has left Pirates to go train with to Golden Arrows instead of Chippa United./Veli Nhlapo

Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen insists that the refusal by two Orlando Pirates players to join the club on loan has not derailed their pre-season plans.

Last week, Pirates announced a number of changes to their squad, which included the loaning out of Diamond Thopola, Phetso Maphanga, Ciao Marcelo and Gladwin Shitolo to the Chilli Boys.

However, it has since emerged that Marcelo rejected the move while Shitolo opted against a loan extension after being with the club from January to May.

"At this stage we only have Thopola and Maphanga from Pirates, so it's not a big group of loanees," Larsen said. "Marcelo is not with us and we had Shitolo for the second half of last season but he will not be returning.

"It's not a problem that we didn't get the players because we always have plan B and C. If we don't get a certain player then we get another. For us it's not a train smash."

It has been a busy two-week period for the club owned by the trigger-happy Chippa Mpengesi.

It was also announced that veteran midfielder and captain Mark Mayambela has left the club. Larsen said the decision to part ways with the
31-year-old was amicable.

"Look, we sat down to have a talk with Mark and it was decided that we should not renew [his contract]," he said.

"Mark has been a great ambassador and leader for our club and we wish him the best in his future."

It is Larsen's first pre-season with the club after he joined in January from Golden Arrows.

As they prepare to take on newcomers Stellenbosch in their opening game of the new season on August 3, Larsen is wary of the rookies.

"They will have their tails up because they are coming up from the NFD as champions and will want to make their mark," he said. "We need to make sure we get off to a decent start to set the tone for the rest of the season."

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