Arrows strengthened - Coach Harrison signs eight new players in the transfer window

2014-02-05 00:00

IT will be difficult to recognise the Golden Arrows side that takes to the Loftus Stadium pitch in tonight’s PSL clash against Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria.

The club, bottom of the log and with much to improve on if they are to avoid relegation this season, have signed no less than eight new players in the January transfer window and coach Mark Harrison confirmed to The Witness yesterday that as many as five of them are in line to start tonight.

Having conceded more goals than any other club this season, defensive recruitments were always going to be a priority for Harrison. The English boss has recruited 23-year-old Ghanaian centre back Seth Owusu from Ghana Premier League outfit Heart of Oak in what appears his major coup, while Nambian Chris Katjiukua has also been added to bolster the last line.

In midfield, Harrison has secured Manti Moholo and William Twala on loan until the end of the season from Orlando Pirates, while there is another Namibian joining the ranks in Deon Hotto.

Striker Bonginkosi Ntuli has been Arrows’ one positive this season, and he will now have support from Zambian international Festus Mbewe.

Historically, foreign players have taken a while to acclimatise to the PSL, but time is something that Harrison doesn’t have as he looks to move up the PSL table.

“Ideally I’d like them all to play a part. The new signings seem to be gelling nicely and I am hoping this is a fresh start for us,” Harrison told The Witness yesterday.

Harrison has also bolstered his goalkeeping department with 41-year-old Arthur Bartman coming out of retirement where he is likely to deputise for Ryan Harrison.

“It is not an easy scenario, coming back in after not playing for a while,” Harrison said of Bartman. “He’s very experienced and we brought him in to stabilise the goalkeeping department. With him and Ryan, we now have two quality keepers.”

Former Maritzburg United attacking midfielder Rudolf Bester is also back after recovering from an eight-week spell on the sideline with damaged ankle ligaments.

Turning his attention to tonight’s clash, Harrison was aware that his charges were going into the match as massive underdogs.

“Nobody is really giving us a chance and we are going into the match with our backs against the wall before the whistle has even blown,” he said.

Abafana Bes’thende will approach the match with caution, looking to keep out a side that has scored more goals than any other club in the league this term.

“You have to go to Sundowns and look to keep them quiet in the first 20 minutes,” said Harrison.

“Hopefully as the game goes on we can slowly get a foothold and then you never know what can happen.”

The match kicks off at 7.30 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Select.

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