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Maverick Comitis’s gamble paying dividends

After losing his first head coach Eric Tinkler to Supersport United, John Comitis shocked many by appointing Bafana Bafana legend and local hero Benni McCarthy to the helm.

FILE: Cape Town City owner John Comitis. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City chairman John Comitis has watched his club, formed only three years ago, claim its second major trophy on Saturday as they continue to lead the way with progressive, risky but measured decisions when it comes to running a football club.

After losing his first head coach Eric Tinkler to Supersport United, Comitis shocked many by appointing Bafana Bafana legend and local hero Benni McCarthy to the helm.

McCarthy at the time of his appointment had no head coach experience besides being an assistant coach, however, he was qualified (UEFA A license) for the post and eager to prove himself as a force just like he did as young striker for the national team all those years ago.

As it stands right now, Comitis's decision to name an icon like McCarthy to the head coach position was masterstroke after McCarthy led the team to MTN8 glory.

“Benni is a breath of fresh air, it was a gamble, but it was a calculated gamble [to appoint McCarthy]. We have a great support system around and there no was reason for him not to have success and he has done exactly that.”

After McCarthy reached his second final in as many years at City, Comitis urged other clubs to follow his lead by handing local coaches the opportunity they need to succeed.

“We have a lot of talent in this country, people have got to give people a chance. We keep on bringing coaches from outside the country and then we have these merry go round coaches.”

McCarthy has all the raw materials to coach - coupled with the knowledge and the education.

Importantly, he has been supported in the transfer window with marquee signings like Teko Modise, Ayanda Patosi and Tokelo Rantie being added to the young squad.

“We plan our signings, we are not scared to spend but we spend correctly. We do make mistakes from time to time. The most important thing is to have a balanced team. It's not always about having a lot of good players. It's about having the right players in the right positions.

“I think the way we run our club, we are very results-oriented, and you know, the players we bring must be able to get results and take us to the next level.”

Not only did City take a bold step by appointing McCarthy, the club is also a trailblazer in the social media space with provocative and witty tweets coupled with creative line-up or transfer announcements.

While Comitis acknowledges their online presence is a big part of the club’s appeal, he explained what really matters in football.

“Make no mistake, if we weren't winning from the beginning we wouldn't be the brand we are today. You have to be wining to be taken seriously. When we see the trophies in the cabinet, then we realise what we are on the right track.”

While a second major trophy is remarkable, Comitis still expects his club to be challenging for the league title and is concerned by their recent form.

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