CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has made no secret of his belief that squad depth is crucial to the success of a football club. As a season progresses, a team is invariably hit by injuries and suspensions - it’s just the nature of the sport - which is why those coming in should be just as adept as the players they are replacing.
It’s an aspect McCarthy has regularly stressed to club owner John Comitis, who has been rather shrewd in the transfer market. As such, players such as Tokelo Rantie, Ayanda Patosi and Surprise Ralani have been lured back from their European sojourns, while a number of other solid players have been added to the squad.
What this does, of course, especially as City prepare to face SuperSport United in the MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night (7pm kickoff), is provide McCarthy with a real selection headache. But, as the former Bafana Bafana striker is quick to admit, it’s a headache he welcomes: when every player in the squad is pushing for a place in the starting team, it’s a recipe for success.
As McCarthy ponders his tactics and selection for Saturday’s final, the one position which will definitely elicit a painful migraine is at left-back. Who does he choose? Edmilson Dove or Ebrahim Seedat? Both are top-class defenders and just as wily when bombing forward on attack. This season, McCarthy has juggled the two, with Mozambican Edmilson involved at times, and Seedat on other occasions. But, in a big match such as this, who will get the nod?
Edmilson and Seedat are both ready if given the go-ahead - and, whoever takes the seat on the bench, will be right there to support the other on match day. The Mozambican, though, was confident that, irrespective of what team McCarthy decides upon, City have what it takes to come away with the trophy. This season’s MTN8 final is a repeat of last year’s when SuperSport emerged victorious on penalties.
“It’s always good to get to finals,” said Edmilson. “We lost to SuperSport in last year’s final; it’s the same again this year, but this time we want to win. There is no pressure. It’s a final, but it’s a game and we want to win. We tried last time and, when it went to penalties, it was anybody’s game. This time, we want to go all the way.
“We’ve beaten SuperSport before, but we can’t take them lightly. It will be a difficult game - they are a good team with quality players. But, importantly, we want to play our game; for us, it’s not about SuperSport, it’s about what we do. We just have to be willing to work hard on the day.”