CAPE TOWN - Robyn Johannes has never shirked a challenge. Like any other professional footballer, his career has had its ups and downs - but, whatever the circumstances, he’s always believed in himself.
Now, as the Cape Town City captain and central defender embarks on his final three games for the club, he’s determined to make his exit a successful one.
City tackle Polokwane City in a PSL fixture at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday evening (7.30pm kickoff) - and, with Johannes joining Wits next season, his objective is to ensure that City finish as high up on the standings as possible. The Cape side’s final two games will then be against Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu.
“I want to finish off on a high,” said Johannes. “I will always be thankful for City for giving me an opportunity during a difficult stage of my career. They believed in me - and I took the opportunity they offered with both hands.
"Now I want leave the club knowing that it’s on a high. It would be an injustice if City don’t finish in the top five at least - this is a club with huge potential and is going to make great strides in the future.;
"So, as I go into my final three games for City, I want to continue to do the job I have been doing for them - for the club, for my teammates and for the fans, who always keep me going.”
Johannes is an individual who knows what he wants. He thinks deeply about situations before making decisions. So there’s no doubt, while many may think he’s making a mistake in leaving City, it has to be remembered that he is 31-years-old.
It’s usually the stage of a footballer’s career when he starts thinking about life after football. For Johannes, more than likely, the Wits offer provides an opportunity to ease his mind with regards to post-football financial issues.
Johannes doesn’t mind taking a leap into the unknown; he’s done it before. He was just 15 when he left Strandfontein to pursue a football career which started at the University of Pretoria. He went on to play for Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates, Golden Arrows, Maritzburg United and AmaZulu before joining City.
Having led the Cape team with distinction this season, Johannes admits they are in for a tough evening against Polokwane, but he’s confident the team can get a positive result.
“Polokwane will be a difficult game,” said Johannes. “They’re a good footballing team and they are desperate for points. As for us, things haven’t gone our way lately and we only have ourselves to blame. But that is what makes this game so important - we have to make sure that (we) get maximum points from here on in. We have to treat the remaining three games like Cup finals.”
With City, the constant refrain over the last few weeks has been the team’s inability to convert possession and territory into goals. Johannes remains positive that there will be an improvement in the attacking third during the final three games.
“It has been the story of our season - we play well, we build up nicely from the back and through the midfield, but, as soon (as) we hit the final third, it all goes wrong,” he said. “It is a problem, but we are working hard at it. In fact, it’s something we work on at every training session.
"But it should just be about us continuing to have confidence in the strikers and believing that they will come good. So we will keep going - I think we will turn the corner and there’s going to come a time when one goal goes in, and then we will go on to score three or four.”
While Johannes prepares to leave City on a high, it is just as incumbent on his teammates to provide him with a great send-off. He has been an invaluable member of the squad and an inspirational presence, both on and off the field.