CAPE TOWN - The surname Modise no doubt evoked a few nostalgic memories for Cape Town City boss John Comitis.
On Wednesday, Comitis and his new coach, Benni McCarthy, signed former Bafana Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Teko Modise, pictured - and the capture would definitely have reminded the City owner of 1999, shortly after the formation of Ajax Cape Town, when then-man of the moment David Modise was brought on board.
At the time, Comitis’ Cape Town Spurs and Rob Moore’s Seven Stars had amalgamated to form Ajax. The duo was determined to immediately imprint their new club into the consciousness of the people, so, in a phrase coined by Moore, the mercurial David Modise was the club’s “Hollywood signing”.
In other words, because of his stature and appeal as a player, David Modise’s arrival was designed to emphasise the lofty ambitions of the club. As a top-quality footballer with a wide national following, and a seasoned, proven star, it proved that the new club needed to be taken seriously.
In the same way, the capture of Teko Modise is intended to do exactly the same thing as the other Modise did for Ajax 18 years ago.
Comitis has always stuck to that same philosophy - and, this time, ex-Sundowns ace Modise is the “Hollywood name”.
Running a football club is about so much more than just on-field presence. The modern game, especially with the advent of social media, is also about marketing and branding.
The arrival of the 34-year-old Modise at City is a major fillip. He is a former two-time PSL Player of the Season; his ability is not in question and his experience will be invaluable, especially with the Cape club participating in the CAF Confederations Cup next season.
Innovative City have captivated the local football space, both on and off the field.
The capture of Modise ensures that they remain uppermost in the imagination of football followers all over the country.
“Tactically, Modise is one of the smartest signings we could make,” said Comitis. “He will equip us to again challenge for silverware this season.”
Comitis has never been afraid to take risks - it’s what sets him apart from many club bosses. Last year, he splashed many millions to purchase the franchise of Mpumalanga Black Aces and establish City.
Last month, he took a big gamble in employing an inexperienced coach in McCarthy. Now, even though Modise is 34 years old, Comitis has had no qualms in investing in the veteran, confident the player still has a lot to offer in elevating City.
In terms of game intelligence and experience, Modise will be a huge asset for City. In the dressing-room, he will be charismatic and influential presence in inspiring those around him.
And, with so many young hopefuls eager to make an impression in the club’s development ranks, Modise’s knowledge, advice and guidance will be invaluable.
Comitis is certainly not fooling around. With Cape legend McCarthy as coach, new names such as striker Ayanda Patosi, Mozambican defender Jeitoso and former Bloemfontein Celtic winger Lyle Lakay, and Modise as the marquee acquisition. Now that is what you call a statement of intent...