Ajax Cape Town's Stanley Menzo gears up for derby with Benni McCarthy's Cape Town City
Posted: 28 September 2017 Time: 15:45
Ajax Cape Town coach Stanley Menzo expects a passionate derby against rivals Cape Town City, and has urged opposite number Benni McCarthy to “go for it”.
The two Cape clubs square off on the first instalment of this season’s Cape derby, which Ajax coach Menzo acknowledges is a unique spectacle.
“It’s something special – I’ve never played a derby in my life,” the former Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper said. “But its unique: two teams that play from the same stadium – you don’t see that often, I think only Milan has this at this moment. It creates energy, it brings people together and it’s good for football.
“I have even started to learn the singing of South African songs – yesterday the team was singing in the changeroom, and it was nice.”
Despite the much-publicised boardroom spat of the past between opposing chairmen Ari Efstathiou and John Comitis, Menzo insists his boss has asked for the same he does every week from this weekend’s clash.
“I speak every day with my chairman, and like every game, he wants three points, and I think that’s fair,” Menzo said. “But we also know that this game is more than three points – it’s a derby. Every week he asks for three points!”
Menzo says he’s expecting a high-octane game on Saturday afternoon, and has encouraged his opposite number to “go for it” in what should be an entertaining affair at Cap Town Stadium.
“The game will be full of passion,” he said. “They have a new coach, so some things have changed in their way of playing since last year, they also have new players, so we’ll see how things go from the beginning. There’ll be a lot of passion, but as long as we have respect for each other and fight for the three points … also the coaches, let’s go for it.”
Ajax will be without injured centre-back Roscoe Pietersen, who is ruled out with a groin strain, while the club is hoping striker Prince Nxumalo will recover from his groin injury in time for Saturday’s clash. Kick-off is at 15h00.