CAPE TOWN - The men who call the shots for Cape Town City have no doubt that, in Robyn Johannes, they have appointed the right man to fill the leadership void left by Lebogang Manyama.
On Sunday, the fledgling Cape PSL side won through to the final of the MTN8 and, on Monday, they appointed central defender Johannes as the official club captain.
With Manyama now at Konyaspor in Turkey - he made his debut coming off the bench at the weekend - City boss John Comitis and head coach Benni McCarthy wanted to move quickly with regard to who takes charge of things. They have a tough, tricky PSL fixture against Kaizer Chiefs at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday (kick-off 7.30pm), and it’s important to maintain the stability of the squad.
“Lebo (Manyama) was a real trooper, who led the team with great passion and credibility,” said Comitis. “But we needed to make sure that we fill the vacuum he left behind - and, for us, there was only one man, and that was Robyn.”
“For me, it was a very easy decision,” said McCarthy. “I’ve known Robyn for a long time and we share a similar view about football. He believes in leaving everything on the pitch, he takes responsibility and he shows that determination on the field.”
Johannes, originally from Strandfontein, left the Mother City at a young age to seek his football fortune up north. He has played for top clubs like Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates. He returned home last year to sign for City - and the home town air has brought the best out of him.
“There are so many captains in this team,” said Johannes. “I’m sure there are quite a few in the squad who could do the job, so to be picked means a lot to me. The most important thing is for us to just make sure that we continue to perform well week in and week out, and make sure that this team remains at the top, where it belongs.”
Looking ahead to Wednesday’s clash with Chiefs, McCarthy wasn’t prepared to give anything away with regard to tactics. He was cagey and non-committal about what he had in mind for the country’s most popular football club.
“Look, everybody knows Chiefs, they are comfortable on the ball, but I don’t want to say too much. All I can say is that we will study their strengths and weaknesses - but, for me, as the players know, everything is always about what we do, not the opposition.”