As Cape Town City head into their final PSL fixture, against Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium this afternoon (3pm kickoff), coach Eric Tinkler was again quick to emphasise what has been the secret to the club’s success this season.
Currently third on the PSL standings, City have a chance of finishing as runners-up to champions Wits if they beat Polokwane and second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns slip up against Highlands Park today.
In addition to their magnificent league run, the Capetonians also won the Telkom Knockout trophy earlier in the season. For a team in their debut campaign in the PSL, there’s much to cheer about. At the root of the success has been the incredible team ethic at the club, as revealed by Tinkler.
“No individual has been more important than the team,” said Tinkler. “That’s the approach we have created here. There were many challenges throughout the season, but nobody complained.
“There has always been a good spirit and everybody just got on with the job. I can safely say that everybody involved with the club, both on and off the field, played a part in what has been a fantastic season.”
Tinkler has done a wonderful job at City. Not only did he have to hastily put the squad together in June last year, he has been very good with regard to tactics, game plans and in motivating the squad.
There’s already talk in local football circles that the City man has a future as a potential Bafana Bafana coach. But Tinkler was having none of this.
Having been involved in the sport for many years as a player, he has good reason not to get carried away and be lulled into a false sense of comfort about his achievements.
“I’m not even thinking about what people are saying,” said Tinkler. “I’m proud of what we have achieved at City, but I know, from experience, that this game can bite you. I’ve been through the highs and the lows. Already, the next season is waiting and, if we don’t start well, it can all turn against you.
“I think that, as a coach, I’ve still got a lot to learn. I’m not even thinking about Bafana, at the moment I just want to achieve as a club coach.
“Of course I would love to coach in Europe, but the harsh reality is that our league is not that much recognised around the world. That is why you have to prove yourself by going into Africa, in the CAF competitions, because that’s what puts your name in Europe, not through the PSL.”
As for Polokwane today, Tinkler’s aware that his players are in for a tough challenge against tricky opposition who have had a really good season.