DURBAN - Cape Town City’s youngster Nana Akosah-Bempah says he relishes the opportunity of being coached by Benni McCarthy on a daily basis.
McCarthy is South Africa's all-time leading scorer with 31 goals for Bafana Bafana and is the only South African to have won the Uefa Champions League.
The 40-year-old may be in his maiden season as a coach, but the former Orlando Pirates striker has already shown a glimpse of what he can do by leading his team to their first MTN 8 final in October.
"Coach McCarthy is very important in my career," Akosah-Bemph said.
“Every day is a new day to learn from him and improve as a striker. He has a first-hand experience of what it takes to go far. It’s really been wonderful to work with him."
The 20-year-old is a product of the youth structures of Mpumalanga Black Aces, the club that later became Cape Town City.
He was promoted to the first team in the 2015-16 season by then coach Muhsin Ertugral, but then got loaned out to Cape Town All Stars.
He returned to City this season and has scored one goal in 10 appearances. The Ghanaian, who was born in Delaware in the United States, says playing in the same team with Teko Modise has had a massive impact on his game.
“He’s been brilliant,’’Akosah-Bempah said of Modise. “He’s a very good leader. He often helps us as youngsters to improve. We can watch and learn from someone who’s been there and done it; it’s really an honour and a privilege to play with him.’’
Nana Akosah-Bempah in 2017:
✅ Turns 20 years old
✅ Gets promoted to 1st team
✅ Gets 1st PSL start
✅ Gets 1st PSL goal
✅ Scalps Sundowns
Can I get a 🔥? pic.twitter.com/SaJzhsnaqk
Akosah-Bempah has been in South Africa for over 10 years since coming from the United States, although his parents hail from Ghana. He’s yet to feature for any of the three countries thus making him eligible to represent any national team of his choice.
Having recently played in the Caf Confederation Cup with City before they were eliminated by Mozambique’s Costa do Sol, Akosah-Bempah insists that even though that period was short, it was an eye opener.
“Playing in Africa was a wonderful experience,’’ Akosah-Bempah said. “To get a taste of what football is like in other countries, it was something that I really enjoyed. It’s a pity we didn’t go further, but we will always live and learn.’’
With just four games left in the league, it’s every man for himself as everyone has their own targets to reach. Hence, the bulky striker suggests that City will play for maximum points in these remaining matches.
“We need to collect as many points as we can,’’Akosah-Bempah insisted. “We need to finish higher than we are at the moment; in a respectable position.”