Cape Town - The saying goes that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and that is what football agent Rob Moore has done for long-standing client Benni McCarthy.
Thanks to the Cape Town-born Moore’s initiative, McCarthy has landed a plum job as one of Manchester United’s five first-team coaches.
McCarthy was sacked in his last two head coach appointments, after which there was no demand for his services, except one from South Africa’s lesser-known clubs.
In November 2019, Cape Town City announced that it had terminated the employment of McCarthy with immediate effect following a run of results that saw the club win two out of their last 18 games.
In March 2022, AmaZulu announced: “It is quite clear that the team needed change and that change needed to happen now, hence we decided to part ways with immediate effect”. Once again, McCarthy was sacked.
Against this background, McCarthy joined the ranks of the unemployed, and during this time, Moore performed like a rock star as he scanned the football landscape to find an opening for McCarthy.
During the scanning process, Moore has to establish where coaching or similar posts are available. He tracks the movements of coaches, and notes the hiring and firing of coaches worldwide.
This is an ongoing process, and the wider he casts the net, the more likely he is able to establish which opportunities would be ideal for his client.
At this stage, Moore’s job is like that of an estate agent. He knows what the seller offers and what the buyer is looking for. A good estate agent will marry the requirements of either side, and that will result in the ultimate objective, which is to sell the property.
In United’s case, Moore spotted an opening and made inquiries. He secured a meeting for McCarthy at United, who decided to see the South African at work.
Subsequently, McCarthy was given a chance to work with United’s Under-23 squad, and manager Erik ten Hag ran the rule over the session.
Other applicants were also given the opportunity. However, thanks to Moore’s entrepreneurial skills and McCarthy producing the goods in the “trial”, he made a fairytale return to one of the world’s top leagues, where he once reigned as a supreme marksman alongside Ivorian striker Didier Drogba.
Behind the scenes, Moore must also be given credit for guiding McCarthy from an early age, when he broke into the paid ranks of semi-professional football in Cape Town.
Moore held his hand as he moved through the ranks and secured improved career deals.
Moore himself advanced his standing as an agent and worked hard to set up contacts with clubs, both local and abroad.
Once McCarthy’s playing days were over, he urged his client to do coaching courses that will qualify him for a host of opportunities in football.
On another level, Moore encouraged McCarthy to immerse himself in the culture of the countries (the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal) where he was plying his trade. Today, McCarthy speaks the languages of those three countries as well as English.
Moore says the two of them have shown great loyalty and respect in their partnership.
Moore has also done wonders for many other South Africans like Steven Pienaar, May Mahlangu, Bongani Khumalo, Aaron Mokoena and lately, Ronwen Williams.