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'Tokelo Rantie must make use of Celtic lifeline,' says Farouk Khan

Former Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie, left, was invited to train with Bloem Celtic before the Covid-19 forced break. / Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images
Former Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie, left, was invited to train with Bloem Celtic before the Covid-19 forced break. / Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

The current lull of football will without a doubt test the discipline of players and the troubled Tokelo Rantie will need to show tremendous mental fortitude to make use of the lifeline handed to him by Bloemfontein Celtic.

This is the feeling of his mentor Farouk Khan. With the country under a lockdown, footballers are expected to train at home and to follow a strict diet programme.

Rantie's run-ins with coaches and club officials are well-documented. Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City terminated contracts with him in the past year.

Just before the lockdown, Celtic gave Rantie the opportunity to train with the first team and earn a contract.

Khan, who coached the former Bournemouth striker at youth level, is hoping for the best.

"It's very difficult for anybody to remedy a situation where there are psychological challenges involved. These are issues which coaches are not qualified to deal with, these are matters that require psychologists," Khan said.

"As coaches, we deal with physical, tactical and squad management part of the game. Look at the great Brazilian striker Adriano."

The Stars of Africa Academy boss admits that this is Rantie's last chance.

"Rantie is the only one who can solve his problems. It's up to him to decide and say 'I have had enough and this is my last chance'.

"I pray that he gives himself a fair chance and sort out his problems. We can never count him out because God works in wondrous ways," Khan said.

Celtic spokesperson Sello Nduna said Rantie was given a training programme and was still part of the club's plans.

"Tokelo is still with us and like all our players, he is training from home. He is such a good boy and was coming alright before the lockdown," Nduna said.

"As the club, we met with him and had a discussion about what is expected of him during this time.

"All he needs is love and to be given the support he needs."

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