Struggling Cape Town City FC place Jan Olde Riekerink on leave
CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City have undergone yet another coaching change after head coach Jan Olde Riekerink was placed on leave on Monday.
The Dutchman is still in his first full season with the Citizens after replacing Benni McCarthy mid-way through last season.
“The club can confirm that it has placed coach Jan Olde Riekerink on administrative leave, with immediate effect. Club assistant coach Diogo Peral will take charge of the team until further notice,” the club confirmed in a statement on ita official Twitter account.
City are currently seventh on the Dstv Premiership table, but have endured a very topsy-turvy season. They recently went on a three-game winning streak only after chief executive John Comitis publicly rebuked the team after a run that saw them fail to claim all three points for eight straight matches.
"The players need to step up. They need to be accountable because this is certainly a top squad that we have put together," Comitis said at the time.
The momentum was, however, stopped permanently in its tracks when McCarthy returned to Cape Town for the first time with his in-form AmaZulu outfit last weekend.
Usuthu thrashed City 5-1 on the Citizens' home turf, which was later followed by another 1-0 defeat to TS Galaxy at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.
Furthermore, there has been reports that tensions have been running high in the City dressing room lately.
It is understood that Riekerink was particularly upset with his players' attitude during and after the AmaZulu clash, with star defender Taariq Fielies particularly upsetting the Dutchman.
Fielies was seen embracing former coach Mccarthy after the 5-1 thrashing, which Riekerink found offensive considering the nature of the defeat.
It is well known fact that Fielies and a large part of the City squad have a huge amount of respect for McCarthy due to his on-field legacy and also for the fact that he granted a host of local players an opportunity in the top flight when he was in charge of City.
Fielies has also made his intentions clear recently that he would consider a move away from City to anyone of Johannesburg's "Big Three" should the opportunity avail itself.
“I would have to ask the coach what happened because I am not aware that he has not travelled with the team,” Comitis told Kickoff.
“The coach and the player had a meeting yesterday, that I know. But I don’t know what happened in that meeting.”
It seems now that Riekerink may in fact be departing City sooner than Fielies.