‘There’s not much I can tell Benni’

The former Bafana Bafana striker was somewhat surprisingly named as the Citizens’ head coach at the start of the season, replacing SuperSport United-bound Eric Tinkler who had lead the PSL newbies to Telkom Knockout glory and a third-placed Absa premiership finish in the club’s first season in the top-flight.

Yet McCarthy has held his own in his first stint as a head coach, guiding City to 12 wins, three draws and eight losses in the 23 games he has sat in the dugout across all competitions, leading his side to last year’s MTN8 final, and to their current second-place position on the log.

And club boss Comitis says he’s more than pleased with his coach.

“I have been very happy with the progress of Benni,” he said.

“I think he had a lot of challenges to overcome and what happens is, it's pretty much like when a new player comes into the squad, they peak early and then they go through a period where they are adjusting, and then they start growing from that again.

“The same thing happens with coaches and he had extra matters to attend to with his first job, so he’s confronting things for the first time all the time.

“He’s confronting the way he interacts with me as a chairman, in terms of my involvement or not. He’ll experience that in the future with different chairmen, and every club runs their affairs differently.

“Some chairmen are very arm’s length and others are very involved. But it goes beyond that, it’s also about the experience he is having as a coach in different situations.”

Comitis says South Africa’s record goal scorer is able to quickly understand his players and see situations unfolding.

“You can see on the uptake, he’s very quick,” Comitis continued. “You can see that he has foresight for the anticipation of what is going on around him at a very high level. Things that took me years and years to realise, he sees them pretty quickly because he has been in environments like that on the biggest stages.

“There’s not much I can tell him, he can stand in a changing room and he already knows what the players are thinking because he knows how they react to situations.

“He’s a good man-manager, he understands the players but what he doesn’t do, and I give credit to him, he doesn’t compromise on hard work and commitment, you give him that you get a chance.

“There are 27 players and he’ll use any of them and at any moment he can throw anyone in and he would be justified in the way he does it, because when he makes decision, it’s in the interest of the club.”

Comitis, who has recently outlined his plan of building his own stadium, hopes to realise that dream with McCarthy still at the helm.

“We do have bad games when we get results, and good games when we don’t win – those are experiences that he will go through all the time,” he said.

“But if you said to me, 'what would you do next with Benni?', I would give him a 10-year contract.

“I’d like to see us moving into our new stadium with him at the helm. I’d like him to be the one to lift up the first trophy for Cape Town City and if I can convince him to do that, I will certainly try.”

City will look to reduce Mamelodi Sundowns' lead at the top of the table when they travel to the Free State to take on Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday afternoon.