Celtic eye the big one
By Freestate On 11 Jul, 2013 At 01:00 PM | Categorized As Sport | With 0 Comments

Teboho Setena
Bloemfontein

BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic are tired of playing the bridesmaid role in the top-flight league.
After finishing fifth in the last two seasons, they now want the big one.And coach Clinton Larsen is confident nothing can stop them from challenging for the league honours.
“We have set the standard in the last three seasons, finishing twice in fifth position,” he told the Free State Times this week.
“We just have to improve in all departments to be best placed to challenge for the league championship.
“We have to score more goals, keep clean sheets and concede less goals in our league-winning ambition.
“Basically, what we want as a club is to improve on last season’s form.”

In this just-ended 2012/13 Premiership season, Celtic not only finished a creditable fifth but also lifted the Telkom Knockout trophy which they will be defending.
Phunya Selesele’s championship aspirations will be first put to the test when they face Bidvest Wits in the season-opening MTN 8 Cup.Their league opener will not be easy either, with the Bloemfontein giants set to host the big-spending Mamelodi Sundowns in the first week of August.Larsen believes doing well in the MTN 8 Cup will set the tone for his side’s campaign for the Premiership title.
Phunya Selesele have already begun the pre-season training in earnest, with the players undergoing fitness tests in the past week.
“The technical team is very happy with the fitness results of all the players,” Larsen said.
“It means they followed their off-season fitness training programme.”
“Our focus is on conditioning the team so that we will be ready to start the season on a high,” he added.
Larsen has begun adding some firepower to his team with offensive midfielder Musa Nyatama the most targeted. He is set to replace Letladi Madubanya who has joined AmaZulu.
Celtic are seeking replacements for winger Jacky Motseqwa and striker Lennox Bacela who have both found a new home at Orlando Pirates.

Former Santos goal-getter Bacela netted five league goals for the Bloemfontein side last season while Motsegwa hardly featured.
Celtic have released midfielder Kurt Lentjies and seasoned goalkeeper Thabani Stemmer.
Midfielder Mduduzi Nyanda and defender Brent Lawler, who both struggled for game time this just-ended season, have also been transfer-listed.

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