Sambu to assist coach Larsen at Chippa United
Ex-Bloem Celtic defender delighted to be reunited with former mentor
Comeback kid Mbuyiselo Sambu is happy to be reunited with his former mentor Clinton Larsen but this time not as a player but as his right hand man at Chippa United.
Sambu will assist Larsen, who is said to take over as the new Chilli Boys coach from Joel Masutha, who was shown the door after the team's 4-2 defeat to Orlando Pirates on Tuesday night.
“I am looking forward to working with Larsen, we had a great relationship at the time when he coached me at Bloemfontein Celtic and even after we were still in contact,” the Peddie born coach said.
The former Chippa and Free State Stars defender hung up his boots to assist Dan Malesela in 2016 and the pair led the Port Elizabeth-based soccer team to their highest-ever finish in the PSL league, a sixth place. They also made two cup semi finals during that period.
“I am looking forward to working with Larsen, we had a great relationship at the time when he coached meChippa assistant coach Mbuyiselo Sambu
The following year Malesela was axed and Sambu took over as interim coach. He also assisted Malesela during all his stints at Chippa.
Most recently, Sambu had been coaching ABC Motsepe League side Peace Makers and also assisting with the Chippa MultiChoice Diski team.
He said the news of his appointment came as a total surprise to him.
“I was first contacted by Morgan Mammila (the team's new CEO) and then I was contacted by team manager Wanda Mbenguzana. The coach Clinton Larsen called me as well,” Sambu said.
“I was not expecting it. I don’t want to lie because we were busy preparing the ABC Mostepe side (Peace Makers) for the weekend fixture. But, I was happy because this is my passion.”
The defeat against Pirates comes straight after their 1-0 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic at East London’s Sisa Dukashe Stadium.
The club has now gone 10 matches without a win, with their last victory dating back to October. After 17 league games, the Chilli Boys are languishing at second-bottom on the log with only 12 points.
With the team is in a state of emergency as it battles to save their PSL status, Sambu said he was up for the challenge: “Its not the first time. We have been there and we have really learned how things are done.
"I am up to the challenge and I know I am working with a very experienced coach and the players we have really are capable of turning any situation around.
“It's clear that we need goals to win games. In terms of their confidence in their play, it has been there. The only thing that has been lacking is to make sure that they win by scoring goals."
Sambu said he would have a sit down with the coach once he lands in Port Elizabeth on Saturday to discuss the way forward.