Larsen hails ex-PSL stars as promotion looms

'We've cemented a play-off spot but want promotion'

09 April 2024 - 09:10
By Sihle Ndebele
Bafedile Baloyi of Magesi looks comfortable on the ball during the match against Orbit on Saturday.
Image: Philip Maeta Bafedile Baloyi of Magesi looks comfortable on the ball during the match against Orbit on Saturday.

As the promised land, that's promotion, looks nearer than ever, Magesi coach Clinton Larsen has saluted the so-called Premiership rejects such as Elvis Chipezeze, Deolin Mekoa and Diamond Thopola among others for the role they've played.

Magesi top the Motsepe Foundation Championship, ahead of second-placed University of Pretoria by a point with seven games left. "It was very easy for me to motivate these players to push because I've worked with most of them before. They are mentors to the younger players as well,'' Larsen told Sowetan yesterday.

"I've got [Samuel] Darpoh, ex-AmaZulu player. I've got Thopola, I coached him at Chippa. Chipezeze is there, Mekoa, played for Maritzburg and Ajax. [Rhulani] Manzini, [Edmore] Chirambadare. These are players that nobody gave a chance. They saw joining Magesi as an opportunity to be part of something special and I am very happy with their contributions."

Larsen knows that automatic promotion isn't yet secured, feeling they've at least confirmed their berth in the top three after beating fellow promotion chasers Orbit College at the weekend.

"Promotion will only be in the bag when it's mathematically not possible for anybody to catch you, so it's the old cliché of taking one game at a time," Larsen said.

"However, I think our last victory against Orbit has basically cemented our top three place. Look at it, we are eight points clear of Orbit and 10 points clear of Baroka in fourth... it will be difficult for those teams to catch us, so we've cemented a play-off spot but we want to go one further which is automatic promotion."

Larsen also reiterated that Magesi have punched way above their weight, saying many people didn't tip them to be where they are now at the start of the season.

"I am not surprised that not many people knew about the team and not many people gave the team a chance because you have big clubs in the NFD like Baroka, Maritzburg, Black Leopards, AmaTuks and Marumo,'' the Magesi mentor said.

"A team like JDR has been in the top six for quite some time as well in the NFD, so we've punched above our weight. We've done our business very quietly and now we are reaping the rewards now."


Marumo 0-1 JDR; Callies 0-2 Maritzburg; Leopards 0-0 Baroka; Magesi 2-0 Orbit; Lions 2-1 La Masia; Milford 3-0 Upington; Rovers 1-0 Venda; Casric 0-1 AmaTuks