CAPE TOWN - Independent Media soccer writer Rodney Reiners has looked at Cape Town City and how they could fare in the Premiership this season.
Key player: Lebogang Manyama
Without doubt, what more needs to be said. Last season’s deserved Footballer of the Season, if he replicates just 60 percent of what he did for City in the last campaign, he’ll still be just as effective, and just as threatening to opposition defences. In short, the City skipper is class personified.
Coach: Benni McCarthy
The entire country waits in anticipation. The question: Can McCarthy emulate his success on the playing field in the next phase of his football career - coaching. He’s done the badges and, judging by the City squad’s response to his first few weeks in charge, he’s on the right track. But it’s on the field, in the performances of his team, where the former Bafana Bafana striker will be judged. Let’s see.
What a day it's been for the team and our fans 🙌🏽 Great to have my daughter as team mascot in my official game. Thanks to the players, fans pic.twitter.com/3UVreViE4W
In a word: Teamwork. If there’s a squad in the PSL in which the word individual means nothing, it’s this unified City bunch. Everything revolves around the team, there are no egos, and everyone in the squad works toward the success of the whole.
They’re often too predictable. Under Eric Tinkler last season, City used a devastatingly effective counter-attack strategy, which, especially towards the end of the season, was easy for the opposition to plan against. Do they have something new, something different, this season? Again, let’s see
Having over-achieved in finishing third in their debut campaign, City are on a hiding to nothing. It would be really tough to better last season’s achievement, especially now that they are no longer the surprise package they were last time. City have said they’ll be happy with a top eight place. So, considering that, a good season would probably translate into a top five finish.
Needless to say, if they miss top eight it would be considered a bad season. At the same time, City have to beware the dangers of the second season slump, which is why they have to guard against any complacency.
Best: Third (last season)
Worst: Third (last season)
Goalkeeepers: Shu-Aib Walters, Sage Stephens, Samora Motloung, Tatenda Mkuruva. Defenders: Tshepo Gumede, Jeitosa, Edmilson Dove, Taariq Fielies, Robyn Johannes, Ebrahim Seedat, Craig Martin, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Vincent Kobola, Joseph Adjei. Midfielders: Lebogang Manyama, Roland Putsche, Mpho Matsi, Never Ngcuka, Aubrey Ngoma, Thabo Nodada, Duncan Adonis, Lyle Lakay, Teko Modise, Isaac Kaliati, Sibusiso Masina, Shaquille Abrahams, Given Mashikinya. Strikers: Lehlohonolo Majoro, Letsie Koapeng, Judas Moseamedi, Ayanda Patosi.