Everything has chanced for centurion for Craig Martin after winning first Cape Town City cap
CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City are a club that's renowned for providing local youngsters with the opportunity to shine at DStv Premiership level.
There is no greater reflection of this than right-wing-cum-defender Craig Martin. The 27-year-old, who hails from Kensington, was a regular on the Cape amateur football circuit before eventually breaking through at City under the watchful eye of former coach Benni McCarthy.
The speedy Martin has not looked back ever since being granted that first opportunity and will now celebrate his 100th cap for the Citizens against SuperSport United at Cape Town Stadium (3pm kickoff) on Saturday.
“For me, joining Cape Town City felt good. Playing for my first professional club, coming from an amateur club playing for Hellenic, Glendene United FC … I didn’t know what it would feel like to be in a PSL team.
“That month of being on trial (at City) showed me that I can make it,” Martin, who also received his maiden Bafana Bafana call-up last month, told reporters this week.
“A lot has changed for my family, coming from Kensington, coming from a background that we come from, everything has changed since I got an opportunity to play for Cape Town City.”
Although a natural speedy attacker, City coach Jan Olde Riekerink has utilized Martin in a right fullback role this season in the absence of captain and fellow 100-club member Thamsanqa Mkhize.
Although Martin has needed to focus on his greater defensive duties, he still has the same hunger for scoring goals.
“I see myself playing further forward, but as the coach said, he is now having his own game plan where he can see me and see me in the future,” said Martin.
“So now I am adapting to what he wants from me. I see myself as a right-back sometimes. Greedy? I must be greedy. But if I get my opportunity to upfront, I will score.”
City will certainly need this passion when they face SuperSport United on Saturday. The Citizens have not won in eight league encounters and desperately need the points to secure their Top 8 position on the Dstv Premiership table.
Equally, they will facing a team that had the better of them in the corresponding fixture up in Tshwane last month and SuperSport are certainly mindful of that fact.
"They not easy, especially at home. They play very good football and they believe in what they do. But in saying that, we beat them two months ago," SuperSport captain Ronwen Williams said.
"They going through a rough patch as well as us. It's going to be a challenge we know how to beat them, so we just need to focus and stick to the game plan and I'm sure everything will be good for us."