Englishman Mark Harrison replaces Mngqithi as head coach of Arrows

2013-10-08 00:00

THE annual game of musical chairs among PSL managers has begun, and Golden Arrows yesterday confirmed the appointment of former Mpumalanga Aces and Chippa United coach Mark Harrison as head coach.

The 52-year-old Englishman replaces the outgoing Manqoba Mngqith­i, who resigned from his post on Saturday after Arrows’ 3-2 Telkom Knock-out first round victory against Wits on Friday night.

Mngqithi has since been linked with the job at Bloemfontein Celtic, after long-serving coach Clinton Larsen (appointed in 2010) was sacked by the Free State club yesterday.

Harrison met his new squad of players for the first time yesterday.

“We had our first session this [yesterday] morning and I am well pleased with what I saw,” the coach told The Witness. “This is a great opportunity for me. This is a club with massive potential.”

Harrison inherits a young squad that Mngqithi had a major role in assembling before the season got under way.

“At the end of the day, players and coaches come and go,” said Harrison. “Me being here shouldn’t make a difference. I feel like I have a lot to offer the club and the players and I can’t wait to get started.”

The new mentor refused to accept that his British roots would make the job any tougher.

“I have spent many years in South Africa and I understand the players and the mentality,” he said. “I don’t consider myself a foreigner here.”

On the style of play Arrows fans should expect to see, Harrison emphasised the basics.

“The main thing I want to see is these lads putting the ball on the grass so they can play,” Harrison said, suggesting that there would be a major focus on keeping possession.

“I want them to be proud of playing for this club, and I want them to play freely.”

Arrows are currently in 13th place on the Premier Soccer League table and have collected just four points and one win from their first six fixtures.

“Whatever position you’re in, you want to win games,” Harrison added. “Every game is massive, so you enter them all with that mentality. I know that you can’t win all of them, but that is what we will try and do.”

Arrows were yesterday drawn to face either Orlando Pirates or Free State Stars in this weekend’s quarter-finals of the Telkom Knock-out.

Harrison’s first PSL game in charge will be at home on October 22, when Abafana Bes’thende host Kaizer Chiefs at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

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