Putsche relishing Rantie debut


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Rantie, who has previously played for Orlando Pirates before overseas stints in Sweden, England and Turkey, was announced as City’s latest signing earlier this month, a move met with much fandom as well as surprise, considering the forward’s inactivity following his release by previous club Genclerbirligi after going AWOL.

The 28-year-old is naturally well-known in South Africa after being selected on numerous occasions in the past for Bafana Bafana, yet was a relatively unknown for new teammate Putsche, with the Austrian admitting he did not know much about the striker.

Yet after doing his research and training with Rantie, Putsche says he’s excited and is waiting in anticipation for the forward to reach full fitness and take to the field alongside him.

“To be honest, I didn’t know too much about him – I know he is a big name, and that he played for Bafana Bafana and that he played with Benni McCarthy,” Putsche tells KickOff.com.

“But only when we released the signing of him did I do my research properly and speak to my other teammates about him, and saw that he is a very big name in South African football. I’m excited to work with him and to see his full potential – I saw some videos of him, and it’s very promising.

“He hasn’t played competitively for a while, so there’s still a bit for him to pick up to get to full match fitness, but I’m excited. I think he makes us even more unpredictable, as we have more options in offense now, and I think we’re now an even stronger side.”

Putsche feels Rantie’s presence has raised the game of everyone in the squad, especially the strikeforce, and feels the added dimension has only served to make the team even more unpredictable.

“For me competition is one of the biggest topics – as soon as people feel too confident in their position and don’t feel pressure from anyone else in the team, they often drop the bar, which is a big problem,” he says. “Now we have [Matthew] Rusike, ‘Shaka’ [Siphelele Mthembu] and Tokelo, so there’s so many options that we have, which makes us unpredictable and will lift the other players as well.”

Following their midweek 2-2 draw with Orlando Pirates, City have enjoyed an extended period to prepare for their next clash, the MTN8 final against last season’s champions SuperSport United.

The match is a replay of last year’s showdown, taking place at the same venue, the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, on Saturday night.