Larsen backs struggling Sibiya


Sibiya scored once in 17 games in all competitions in 2017/18, having played 29 times the campaign before en-route to being named Nedbank Cup Young Player of the Tournament and earning a Bafana Bafana call-up for the COSAFA Cup last year. 

The 22-year-old was the talk of the town when he scored a fine winner against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup round of 16 in February 2017 at Lucas Moripe Stadium. He memorably feinted a run to leave Motjeka Madisha for dead before coolly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene. 

"It was just down to his form," Larsen says of Sibiya's limited opportunities in the past season.  

"He hasn't been in the form he was last season and when you look at him and Velemseni Ndwandwe playing in similar roles, we had to make a decision.  

"It was only form with him. We hoped by trying to give him some game-time in the Diski [Challenge] to improve that form. But it was that type of season for Sibiya and he struggled.  

"But I back him. With his talent, I back him to bounce back next season." 

With Sibiya struggling and being demoted to the MultiChoice Diski Challenge side, Ndwandwe shone in his absence, notably scoring his first PSL goal when Arrows beat Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 in April to help Larsen register his first win over Amakhosi as coach of Abafana Bes'thende.