Benni McCarthy and John Comitis celebrate after Cape Town City beat Mamelodi Sundowns to reach the MTN8 final. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Benni McCarthy and John Comitis celebrate after Cape Town City beat Mamelodi Sundowns to reach the MTN8 final. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Benni wants to mend his relationship with 'good friend' John Comitis

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Jun 4, 2020

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DURBAN - Benni McCarthy feels he owes his former boss at Cape Town City, John Comitis, a call following his unceremonious departure from the Cape club earlier this season.

The ambitious young coach is keen to move on, but not to lose his relationship with the charismatic Comitis because he lost a job under his leadership.

McCarthy told journalists on Zoom of his desire to mend his relationship with Comitis after his departure from the club late last year. McCarthy comes a long way with Comitis, the pair having worked together since the former striker’s playing days.

“This time (lockdown due to Covid-19) hasn’t helped. Since I left, I haven’t been in contact and I haven’t spoken to him or discussed what happened. I keep the distance but I want nothing more than to see that club (Cape Town City) succeed. It is my home town club and the club chairman (Comitis) is a good friend of mine,” McCarthy said from Scotland when asked about his relationship with Comitis.

McCarthy got his break to coach a top league side when he joined Cape Town City. He also lifted his maiden silverware as a coach in his time with City.

“Things happen in life. People lose their jobs but you can’t let work come between friends. Once all this is finished, myself and John will have to sit down and have a conversation. We will talk things over,” he added.

McCarthy reached two finals in his tenure with the Citizens, winning one. He is currently unemployed and spending time with his family in Scotland.

“Friendships are far more important than anything else, you know. I know John since I was 17 years old. Just because I got fired, I lost my job and things didn’t end the way we all wanted, it doesn’t mean that we should lose that friendship,” McCarthy elaborated.

After his departure from City, he was linked with a move to Orlando Pirates.

McCarthy discussed what he believes it takes to be a successful coach at big clubs in South Africa.

“You need to be razor sharp if you are managing any of the big three (clubs in South Africa - Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns). You’ve got to let your bosses know your intentions and what you want to achieve and the way you want to work. It is not about the coach making every single decision for the club.

“It is about working together as a unit. At the end of the day, everyone wants the same success. If the team does well, the club get the recognition,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy shone when the Buccaneers won the treble in 2010/11.

“The big problem at these clubs is that coaches don’t bring in the players. Coaches don’t get to choose the players they bring in. They find players there and they’ve got to make them better. That’s what clubs back home need to understand.

“The one that is in charge every weekend at the matches, is the one that should make the decision. He knows what the team needs and what the team wants.

“The chairmen and general managers need to work with the coach regarding the kind of players that come in. If clubs can establish that, there will be more success.”


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