CAPE TOWN – After seemingly having reached a point where they could no longer ignore their defensive frailties, Cape Town City have signed Greek centre-back Giannis Potouridis.
Potouridis' arrival was officially confirmed on Monday morning, a couple of days after another disappointing result.
”Cape Town City is delighted to announce the signing of Greek Defender Giannis Potouridis. The left footed, 27 year old is highly experienced and joins the Citizens to strengthen the defensive ranks," the club stated.
The Citizens slumped to a second consecutive league defeat when they went down 1-0 to Maritzburg United at home on Friday night, which leaves them level on points with AmaZulu in the relegation zone.
City enjoyed the majority of the chances, but a careless bit of defending from youngster Keanu Cupido resulted in a handball and a penalty being awarded, which proved to be the winner for the KwaZulu-Natal team.
It wasn't Cupido's first mistake this season and he's not been the only one to lose his composure at the back as the team's lack of experience in defence has proved costly.
The Cape club are now without a win in nine matches in all competitions, their last success coming all the back on August 10, when they edged out Stellenbosch FC 1-0.
Their goal-scoring record in the league (13) this season is second only to Kaizer Chiefs (14), but it's clearly the defence which has been the Achilles Heel, with the 15 goals they have conceded the worst record in the top flight.
"Maybe I need to do what they do in NFL (American) football and employ a defensive coach to come help us in defence and help us to be organised, so we don't leak goals," head coach Benni McCarthy had said after a 3-3 draw with Orlando Pirates a month ago.
It’s perhaps not surprising that there is a problem at the back, considering that the majority of the club's new signings over the past couple of years have been attack-minded players.
McCarthy was reportedly unhappy at not being able to land the signature of one of their former defenders, Robyn Johannes, who instead ended up at Stellenbosch.
As such the former Bafana Bafana striker will now be expecting Potouridis to bring more grit and stability to the rearguard.
The 27-year-old began his professional career with Greek giants Olympiacos although was not a regular starter.
He's also played for Panthrakikos, Larissa and OFI Crete in Greece and for Italian lower league side Novara, as well as for Miedz Legnica in Poland. The left-footed defender is capped by his country at country at junior international level.
City's other options in central defence are Taariq Fielies, Abbubaker Mobara and Ivorian Kuassi Kouadja (who is out with a long-term knee injury), while the likes of Edmilson Dove and Thato Mokeke can also operate there.