The popular 24-year-old, who joined City from the amateur ranks in Kensington at the start of the season, enjoyed an impressive first year in the PSL, bagging three goals and one assist in his 24 appearances across all competitions, with his electric pace causing havoc for opposition defenders.
The winger’s efforts were duly rewarded as he was named Cape Town City’s Most Improved Player of the Season at the club awards last month, with coach McCarthy quick to heap praise not only on Martin’s ability, but his attitude as well – something he dreams of seeing in the rest of his players.
“If I can have another 11 Craig Martins, gee whizz, I’d be delighted,” McCarthy said. “He’s a young player who wants to improve and do well, is eager and listens well, and that’s why he got man-of-the-match awards on a regular basis. If only we had more players like that, coming in and wanting to learn and improve, and not think you know it all – that’s the biggest problem we have in South African football, where as much as you want to help improve players, too many today think they know more than you and know it all.
“They are the ones out there playing and are too good for instructions. It’s nice when you find ones like Martin, so there’s hope, and hopefully there’ll be a few more.”
McCarthy then gave his thoughts on the club’s young players, saying he was pleased to have been able to blood a number of promising talents into his squad, who he hopes will improve and take the club forward next season.
“We’ve had a few come through – Shane Roberts, Zuki [Zukile Kewuti] and Fawaaaz Basadien – he’s one that’s knocking on the door, and unfortunately this season the situation didn’t allow for him to come in, but he’ll get his chance,” McCarthy said. “He’s an exciting player who I think will definitely make a difference. So yes, we have a few exciting young players.”
City recently parted ways with defensive duo Tshepo Gumede and Vincent Kobola, and are linked with a move for Slovenian shot-stopper Emil Velic as well as Portugal-based Ajax Cape Town youth product Haashim Domingo.