McCarthy: Ikapa derby good for SA


Cape Town City and Ajax Cape Town will be meeting for a fourth instalment of the ‘Ikapa Derby’ at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, with kick-off set for 15h30.

The fixture has produced some tasteful performances on the park, as well as riveting banter between the two clubs’ social media accounts.

McCarthy feels having such rivalries across the country enriches the beautiful game.

“I think it’s good for South African football that we do have, in most provinces, good clashes between two good teams,” said McCarthy.

“Here in Gauteng you’ve got the Soweto giants – the ultimate derby we have in South African football – between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

“Then you’ve got the Tshwane derby, which is fast becoming one of the also splendid derbies, with a lot of good football and goals, between Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.

“Then we’ve also got the Free State derby – Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars. And, yeah, the Cape derby – Ajax and us – a newly established team but fast becoming superior.”

Superior in the sense that The Citizens have gone unbeaten in their derby history, winning all three previous Absa Premiership meetings, having yet to concede a goal.

The former Bafana Bafana striker believes the Cape talent that has come through in this particular fixture is also uplifting the city’s football development, and hopes that the quality of football continues to improve.

“It’s just good for South African football, but for Cape Town on a whole as well, that we’re able to showcase such a good game of football, with a lot of young, new players on display.

“For me especially, that a player like Craig Martin was able to come from amateur football and play in this derby, doing so exceptionally well for the first time.

“So, it just shows you the amount of talent that comes out there and the passion you see in the derbies – it’s fantastic.

“Hopefully, come Saturday, it’s going to be the same vibe, atmosphere and good brand of football that we saw during Ajax’s home game in the first round, or maybe even better.”

City are currenty third on the league table with 27 points from 17 games – trailing leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by four points, while Ajax find themselves in a precarious 13th place, with 16 points from 17 outings.