CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City's sensational impact on the local football landscape has hinged on teamwork. There’s a fantastic team ethic, together with an almost adhesive spirit of unity, upon which their success has been built.
Only established as a PSL club in June last year, City head into their second Cup final when they take on SuperSport United in the climax of the MTN8 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday (7pm kickoff) - and coach Benni McCarthy has no plans to ditch the tried and tested winning formula.
“Both teams have good individuals in their squads,” said McCarthy. “But, for us, this is, like always, about the team. It will be important that we work hard together, and that we fight together. It’s a one-off, and it will be all about who turns up on the day wanting it more.
"I believe the team that makes the least mistakes will emerge as the winner. Yes, you have to take risks at some stage if you want to win, but it’s important to risk at the right time. The international break has been good. It has allowed us to keep bonding, the preparation has been good, and the players certainly don’t look nervous at all.”
While McCarthy has enjoyed many big, illustrious occasions as a player, no less than a European Champions League winners’ medal with Porto, this is his first Cup final as a coach. Is he feeling a little apprehensive?
“To be honest, no, there are no nerves yet,” he said. “I suppose when Friday comes, it will eventually hit me. But, for now, it’s just important that I prepare the team properly. It’s just a game of football, like any other, and it’s important not to treat it any differently.”
McCarthy has sent a strong yet positive message to his players ahead of Saturday’s final. As far as he is concerned, this is not about him; more importantly, it’s about the success of the team and the accolades for the club.
“I am as keen to win this game as I am about winning any other football game,” said the former Bafana Bafana striker. “I’ve emphasised to the players about having a winning mentality. I’ve told them about the importance of starting well on Saturday, and about how this game can put their names on the map, and how they can write their name in the history books.
“This club is not yet two-years-old, but look at what it has achieved. Last season, they finished third and won the Telkom Knockout Cup. This season, we’ve started well and are already in another Cup final. That is a remarkable history, and surely, as players, they want to be part of making that history a successful one.”