Celtic and Letsoaka part ways

Serame Letsoaka and Bloemfontein Celtic parted ways after the coach was in charge of the team for less than a year. Sadly during his tenure at the team Letsoaka could only guide Phunya Sele Sele to five victories in all competitions. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Premier Soccer League club, Bloemfontein Celtic, is in the process of finding a new coach following the departure of Serame Letsoaka.

Letsoaka was axed as the team’s head coach following their 2-1 defeat to Wits on Saturday evening at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein. The defeat was the team’s third loss in six matches in all competitions this season. Previously the team lost 2-1 to Golden Arrows in their PSL fixture at home and they recently lost 2-0 to Cape Town City F.C. in the first round of the Telkom Knockout.

Phunya Sele Sele’s only victory this season was their 1-0 win over Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 15 October.

The problems for Letsoaka at the club didn’t start this season though, it started from the minute he took over the role left vacant following the departure of Clinton Larsen, who was ultimately appointed as Letsoaka’s successor at Golden Arrows.

Sadly Letsoaka is an astute coach and has the ability to mould teams into formidable units, however, his abilities were never converted at Celtic during his 11-month stay at the club.
During 26 matches in charge of Celtic since December last year, Letsoaka has only managed five wins. His first was against the very Wits when they beat Gavin Hunt’s team 2-1 on 31 January.

His two proudest moments at Celtic will without a doubt be their 3-1 over the defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, when they beat the Brazilians 3-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on 16 March. A month and a half later, Celtic thrashed Ajax Cape Town 5-0 in the league for what was their biggest victory under the guidance of Letsoaka.

Roger de Sa, the former Ajax coach, was the first mentor to depart a team last week, and ironically it was just after their 2-1 defeat to Wits on Wednesday. The former Celtic man,

Mich d’Avray, has taken charge of the Urban Warriors on an interim basis.
Celtic confirmed that they had axed Letsoaka and this was due to results.
The club’s CEO, Khumbulani Konco, said that it was not an easy decision to show the coach the door.

“Unfortunately results are not forthcoming and the reality is that football is results-driven,” said Konco. “After our meeting with the coach, we agreed to part ways. It was not an easy decision to take, purely because of our healthy relationship with the coach. We would like to wish him all of the best in his future endeavours.”

Two of the club’s former captains, John Maduka and Lehlohonolo Seema, who will take charge of the team on an interim base, will be on the side of the field at Wednesday night’s PSL clash against Cape Town City F.C. Maduka is currently manager of the team and made 119 appearances for Siwelele, while Seema in his turn represented Celtic in 113 matches.

The club have confirmed that they are in the process of finding a successor for Letsoaka and they are looking both locally and abroad. Roger de Sa and Tom Saintfiet may be great contenders for the vacant role, however, the name of Kosta Papi has previously been mentioned as well. – MORGAN PIEK