Comitis: Guys like Pitso aren't available

Cape Town City chairman John Comitis has explained the reason behind the appointment of experienced Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink.

The 56-year-old was present at Wednesday night's Absa Premiership encounter as the Citizens demolished Polokwane City 5-3, and even met the squad before the game.

"You know it feels like when you remove the bottle top of a Coca-Cola you know," Comitis tells KickOff.com.

"The players played their hearts out so I've got to be happy with their performance. They've applied themselves to a good game plan and it worked.

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"Maybe it's the motivation of the new coach being there as well. He had a chat with them before the game, but I think at the end of the day we are looking forward to the future and the long-term vision of what we had.

"The new guy's got a very vast amount of knowledge. I think he's going to also direct us in the correct way of structuring the football aspect, content aspect of our club. He comes with so much experience that we are going to learn from him.

"You know I didn't have much time, on Monday when I started the process it was my first call because Jan and me go back to the Ajax days, and you know he has 12 years at Ajax Amsterdam. So there's nothing this man hasn't done in football.

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"The big clubs that he's coached you can see exactly the pedigree so when he said 'listen I will consider it' and we spoke jokingly ten years ago and he said 'one day I want to coach your team in Cape Town, I love Cape Town' I said okay. That was my first call.

"I had about 50 CVs on my desk, literally within 24 hours. And then he called me back about three, four hours later and he said 'I think I'm going to do it'. So I said okay let's do it. I got him on a plane and he's here. I know what he is, I know what he can do. I have seen how Ajax [Amsterdam] built their teams over the years and having this amount of experience we can learn from him.

"Jan was the only guy on my mind. And believe it or not, it was almost Jan or I was going to see it through with Vasili [Manousakis] for a few more weeks to see how to find another alternative."

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Comitis says he expects the Dutchman to spend at least four years at the Citizens.

"At the moment it's almost this year plus three more. But the bigger picture for us is about development of our youth structures. Prepare players for our national teams in the future. He did it for China for three, four years. He literally implemented the entire academy structure for China. His mandate is to review our entire structure, the way it is, the way our academy operates.

"It's got to be attacking football and to get all the players that we have to fall in line with that. Certainly you know we are trying to get our own stadium. We want by the time we move there, to have a well-oiled machine.

"Well if you said to me 'would you do the Benni appointment again now that you know what you know' I'll say yes, it was the right thing for the club at the right time. That was the right thing for a guy like Benni. We had structures where we knew it would support him, and get him to glow like he has.

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"But sometimes it's important to surround yourself with people that can take you to the next level. What is important for us is development you know, and we have to have experts for this kind of thing.

"With local coaches there's nothing wrong, there's a couple of names that popped up for us during the course of Monday in the event that we did not get Jan. But the guys like Pitso [Mosimane] are not available [laughs].

"So look, we took our risks with Benni, it paid off. He did wonders for the club and for him. This is our moment now to take the club to the next level."

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