Cape Town City’s Benni McCarthy not taking CAF Confederation Cup lightly
Posted: 22 February 2018 Time: 14:03
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy insists his side are not taking their maiden CAF Confederation Cup campaign lightly, as he seeks to go all the way in the tournament.
In their first-ever showing on the continent, The Citizens overcame Swaziland outfit Young Buffaloes 2-0 on aggregate to book their place in the next stage of the competition.
And McCarthy maintains the club will be taking the tournament as seriously as any other with silverware on offer.
“It’s a great opportunity for the club, but not just our club, because we are representing South African football on the continent in this competition, so I would like to take it as seriously as I take the league, the Nedbank, the MTN8, the Telkom – it’s a cup competition where there’s a trophy to be won,” he said. “At the end of the day, it could go on your CV that you’ve won it, so as a coach, it would be pretty nice if we could go all the way.”
South Africa’s all-time leading goal-scorer says he won’t undermine the competition, but admits he’ll use it to give his fringe players a run to ensure all squad members are given game-time.
“It’s the equivalent of the Europa League in European football, so it’s not a Mickey Mouse competition,” he said. “I would like to go all the way, as it gives my team an opportunity – players who don’t get to play in the league get to start. So it also gives me a chance to keep players happy as they get 90 minutes under their belt … it provides me with that, so I’d like to go as far as I can.”
McCarthy acknowledged the financial burden of travelling around Africa, yet points to the competition’s prize money as motivation to go all the way.
“I know a lot of football clubs in this country complain about this competition because it burns a hole in your pocket financially when you get to the group stages, but I think the prize money is 1.25 million dollars if I’m not mistaken – that’s almost what you get for winning the league,” he says. “So as costly as it is for the club, if you go all the way and win it, then you can make your money back.”
City have now advanced to the first round qualifiers, where they will take on Mozambique’s Cosa do Sol in a two-legged tie next month.