McCarthy’s pleasant Surprise
Posted: 23 February 2018 Time: 08:30
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy admits he has a lot to ponder ahead of Saturday’s league clash with Bidvest Wits, with a number of fringe players in contention to feature.
The Citizens were 1-0 victors over Swazi club Young Buffaloes in their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round qualifier on Tuesday night, a fixture in which McCarthy fielded a number of squad players to see how they would fare.
Among them was January recruit Surprise Ralani, who had previously made just one start for the club since his arrival. Yet his head coach was more than pleased following the forward’s display and match-winning maiden goal, and feels he is in with a chance to feature in more Absa Premiership encounters.
“After that performance, Surprise Ralani is definitely in with a shout,” McCarthy said. “His trickery was a breath of fresh air and his composure – now you can see the European qualities are coming out of him, because he’s the player that really got us on the front foot in the game – he got us playing, and whenever he was on the ball, we looked like a team that would create something or score.
“So he’s put himself in a lucrative position there, especially after the performances against Kaizer Chiefs where too many players had an off-day. So I’m looking for something different, a breath of fresh air, and Ralani gave me that.”
McCarthy also deployed two youngsters in Shane Roberts and Zukile Kewuti, who both started against Young Buffaloes and left a lasting impression on their head coach.
“Shane Roberts did very well, he’s a young kid who seems to get better and better and is growing a lot, and I think he’s definitely in line to get a starting line-up place for Saturday,” the City coach said. “And I also think the young kid ‘Zuki’ was not bad – he was energetic, and yes, he may lack the football brains and quality, but he had a lot of nerves so you can understand. It was only the second time he gets to play with the first team – he trains with us, so I’ve seen what he gives us. He has a lot of what Thabo Nodada has, though Nodada is obviously a bit more clever now, because he’s played in so many games since the start of the season.
“But the younger boys have stepped up, and are giving me a [selection] headache.”
Kick-off against The Clever Boys at Athlone Stadium is set for 18h00.