CAPE TOWN – Promising teenager Gift Links’ decision to sign for Cape Town City this season was because of the presence of Benni McCarthy as coach.
The 19-year-old winger believes he can develop and grow his game under the tutelage of the former Bafana Bafana striker.
It’s still early days, but already Links’ choice has paid dividends, in that he will be featuring in his first ever final when the Cape side takes on SuperSport United in the climax of the MTN8 on September 29.
Originally from Vryburg, Links took the first steps towards a professional career in the Platinum Stars development team.
After some fine performances for Platinum in the Caf Confederation Cup, Links was signed by Egyptian club Al Assiouty Sport.
But when the Egyptian side changed owners, and the new regime had different ideas on the way forward, City boss John Comitis persuaded the winger to come down to the Mother City.
McCarthy rates the teenager highly. In recent weeks, Links has come to the fore quite strongly – and at the right time too – to make a solid contribution as City marched to the final of the MTN8.
“I’m very, very happy to have reached my first ever cup final,” said Links.
“Five months ago, I was in a semi-final with Al Assiouty in Egypt, but we lost. I was so hurt, but now I’m glad that I’ll be having an opportunity to play in a final.
“I’m feeling grateful because that’s what I wanted. When we got to the semi-finals, I knew that we were going to win and progress to the final.
“I desperately wanted to reach the final, especially because of the disappointment in Egypt, so I’m so excited to have helped City to the final.”
With City meeting SuperSport, it’s a repeat of last year’s MTN8 final. On that occasion, SuperSport were crowned as cup champions when they beat City on penalties.
This time, Links wants to make sure that City are the victors.
“I’m expecting a very good encounter against SuperSport because they are a very good team,” said the teenager.
“It’s going to be a tough one, but I believe and trust that we can win the trophy this season.”