CAPE TOWN - In football, don’t be fooled by size. Some of the world’s greatest players are small and, yet, they are devastatingly effective. Because of their low centre of gravity, together with superb technical skill and the ability to unlock obdurate opposition defences, these pocket-rockets are highly-prized additions to any squad.
As Cape Town City prepare to tackle SuperSport United in the MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow night (7pm kickoff), the Cape team have their very own pint-sized dynamo to call upon in 19-year-old Gift Links. Tomorrow’s Cup final is an opportunity for Links to nail down some silverware. He played in a final for his Egyptian club recently, but ended up on the losing side. This time, he wants to go one better.
“SuperSport are one of the best teams in the PSL,” said the teenager. “They will be difficult to face on Saturday. But if we prepare well and play our game, then we can beat any team. And, whichever defender is on my side, I will give them a challenge. I have a small body and it looks like I may be easy to come up against, but I will give defenders a hard time.”
Links has been brought on slowly by City coach Benni McCarthy. The player has been allowed the time to adapt to his new surroundings and to get to know and understand the environment he is in. And, with each and every minute, Links is gaining confidence. Rest assured, the PSL still hasn’t seen the best of this kid. He’s just 19, he’s got time on his side.
“I’m happy to be at City, I’ve been working very hard and I’m playing more regularly now,” said Links. “This is the right club for me to develop. “My teammates have been very encouraging. An experienced player like Teko (Modise) will always come to me with a word of advice and encouragement.
“I’m playing for a very good coach in Benni and I’m learning all the time. The advice from the coach is always that I shouldn’t be scared and just play my game. If I get a chance in the final on Saturday, I will do my best. City lost in this final last year - now the team wants to come home with the trophy this, this year.”
After last week’s heartening comeback against Orlando Pirates Links if confident of victory in tomorrow’s final. “It’s my first final in the PSL. But I was in a final with my former club in Egypt, and I lost that one. I’m looking forward to this final,” he said.