by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic Football Club are so determined to resuscitate Tokelo Rantie’s career such that they are wary of media interviews derailing the forgotten striker from that objective.
Rantie has spent months at the side from his home province of Free State in a bid to revive a career that has been dormant for two years now.
He joined Phunya Sele Sele towards the lockdown imposed at the end of March after his release by reigning league champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.
Officials from Celtic, the side that coincidentally like the 29-year-old had its own fair share of off-field distractions in recent seasons, confirmed the onetime Bafana Bafana first-choice striker was still under assessment at the club.
He has resumed training with the rest of the Bloemfontein outfit ahead of the restart of the Absa Premiership campaign next week.
The 2019/20 season has been off since March after the government imposed a lockdown against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
CAJ News Africa can reveal that Celtic has also imposed an interview embargo on Rantie who, however, is reportedly has made significant strides in regaining fitness after the lengthy period in the sidelines.
“The team’s feeling is that both the coach and Tokelo should not do the interview now because he has not been signed yet and we don’t want to put him and the team under pressure,” Sello Nduna, the Celtic Media Officer, told CAJ News Africa.
Celtic, placed ninth on the log, are back at training under new coach and club legend, John Maduka.
The Malawian assumed the reins from Lehlohonolo Seema, who quit at the beginning of July to join Chippa United in neighbouring Eastern Cape province.
Rantie’s career has gone downhill since his release by the Turkish club, Genclerbirligi, in January 2018.
Prior to his release by Sundowns, he was also unsuccessful at Cape Town City.
The excitement that greeted both now-failed stints came to nothing owing to alleged personal problems.
Rantie has somewhat become a journeyman striker since he was unearthed at the Stars of Africa Academy.
Besides Turkey and a successful stint at Orlando Pirates, he has played in England, Mozambique and Sweden.
He has failed to add to his 40 Bafana caps and 13 goals, with his last appearance and goals coming against Cape Verde in 2017.
Bafana lost both these 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers 2-1.
– CAJ News