ALL-TIME Bafana Bafana leading goal scorer, Bennedict Saul McCarthy, better known as Benni, is wearing the “blue jacket” for Cape Town City as he hopes to replicate the success of Eric Tinkler who had sculptured the club into a formidable outfit in the 2016/7 ABSA Premiership season, writes Chamu Wilson.
He was officially unveiled as new Cape Town City head coach on Tuesday after penning a three-year contract with the ambitious club.
Despite being arguably the most successful South African soccer player ever having plied his trade in some of the world’s most competitive leagues in Spain, England, Portugal as well as Netherlands, McCarthy is, somewhat, a novice in the dug-out. Although he has previously worked as an assistant coach to Chris O’Loughlin at Belgian side, Sint Truiden, between September 2015 and April 2016, he will be cutting his teeth as a head coach at Cape Town City, a side that is based in McCarthy’s home city.
McCarthy holds a UEFA A-Licence, and becomes only the third local coach after Tinkler and Bidvest Wits’ Gavin Hunt to hold such qualification.
However, many have questioned John Comitis’ wisdom in appointing someone who has not earned his stripes. The former Bafana Bafana talisman himself is fully aware of the big shoes that he has to fill at CTC.
“It is my first job and Cape Town City is gambling on me but I know what I have to do to succeed. I’ll prove that my appointment is a good one. I’ve set targets for myself and the club,” said McCarthy at a press conference on Tuesday.
The new broom says he hopes to change the club’s approach to that of possession play.
“I want us to be dominating games, having ball possession and tiring the opponent. The club last season sucked in opponents and caught them with counters; that is already a missile in our armoury. I want to go toe to toe with Chiefs, Sundowns and Pirates; teams that are really comfortable on the ball. But sometimes we will have to win ugly, too.”
Meanwhile, Comitis, who trusted Tinkler with a job despite the ridicule that the coach was subjected to by Orlando Pirates supporters following an indifferent 2015/6 season, might be trusted to pick on the right man for the job again. Tinkler went on to prove what a shrewd tactician he is with CTC and with a bit of experience in his squad, could have landed a maiden championship.
“McCarthy has played at the very top and I think, in him, I found someone who relates to me in ambition,” the CTC chairperson told the media.