Soccer fans, rejoice – the Beautiful Game is back, courtesy of the MTN8! PSL champions Wits, who claimed their first win in the competition last year, host Golden Arrows on Friday, while Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City face Polokwane City on Saturday afternoon. The fixture of the round is likely to be the battle for supremacy between Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium. Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United end the weekend’s action on Sunday afternoon.
While fans will be looking forward to a mouthwatering tussle in Durban, many will have their eyes trained on Cape Town to see how Benni McCarthy gets on in his first game in charge of the Citizens. A controversial replacement for the SuperSport-bound Eric Tinkler, McCarthy has it all to do to try to replicate the achievements of his predecessor, who led the PSL newboys to a creditable third-place finish.
Although it is his first proper stab at the hot seat, the charismatic former Porto man has wasted no time in stamping his authority on the club and says he intends to shake things up in Cape Town. He’s sounded out his former national team strike partner Shaun Bartlett for some help ahead of his managerial debut and wants to imprint some of his forceful personality on what he says is a team that is “too nice”. He also wants to inject some new momentum into the side’s forward line.
“This is a massive step for me,” said the former Bafana Bafana striker. “But let me tell you that I couldn’t have gone into battle for my first game with a better bunch of guys. They’ve made my job easy – there are no egos in this squad, and they have been disciplined and professional throughout.
“I’m really looking forward to Saturday. And so, too, are the players, as they are determined to prove that they aren’t one-season wonders. They want to replicate the success of last season, and that means I can rely on their desire and motivation to carry us against Polokwane on Saturday.”
Here’s hoping that Benni succeeds in his managerial career – post-match comments will never be the same!