The enigmatic Benni McCarthy doesn’t come cheap to any football club that wants to acquire his services but financial issues were not the reason he opted against joining Ajax Cape Town. Photo: Ryan WilkiskyBackpagePix
The enigmatic Benni McCarthy doesn’t come cheap to any football club that wants to acquire his services but financial issues were not the reason he opted against joining Ajax Cape Town. Photo: Ryan WilkiskyBackpagePix

Why the Urban Warriors failed to land Benni

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published May 14, 2020

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The enigmatic Benni McCarthy doesn’t come cheap to any football club that wants to acquire his services but financial issues were not the reason he opted against joining Ajax Cape Town.

It is an open secret that the Urban Warriors were keen to lure the legendary McCarthy into their set-up to take over the coaching reins but that move never materialised.

Ajax Cape Town chairman, Ari Efstathiou, has cleared the air about why they couldn’t secure McCarthy's signature.

“You must realise when Andries Ulderink resigned we were sitting two points ahead with about 11 games to go. We were a little concerned what will be the next best move. What we didn’t want to do is to bring a strange coach and bring different methods, change the whole thing in the train that was running perfectly on track.

"We felt that Benni could come in and not necessarily change what we were doing but rather bring his management skills, and his relationship with players is very good. That’s what interested us in him,” Efstathiou explained.

McCarthy is currently a free agent after leaving Cape Town City last year. The all-time leading goalscorer for Bafana Bafana has already demonstrated that his skills as a coach matched his talent on the pitch. He lifted the MTN8 during his tutelage of the Citizens.

“I did have several meetings with him and he was very keen to come. I think at the end of the day the problem was his family being away and I don’t think his wife wanted to return to South Africa. He wanted to stay with the family,” Efstathiou articulated.

McCarthy boasts a Uefa Pro Licence. That means he is qualified to coach in Europe.

“His view was also that he wanted to further his career on a European stage than South Africa. It was his reasons for not coming to us,” he added.

Ajax are on course to win the championship in the GladAfrica race.

“There was never a discussion about money. We never got to that. I think those were the two main reasons why we couldn’t agree with him. Nevertheless, it didn’t happen and we gave the position to Calvin Marlin and look at the results. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Calvin has done a phenomenal job. I’m impressed how he took it up and how he has handled it. He gets the response and respect from the players,” Efstathiou said.

Marlin hasn’t put a foot wrong ever since he took over as an interim coach and Ajax will be right to consider him for a permanent post.

“He has got coaching credentials that are impressive. He obviously doesn’t have the experience and that will be the only negative on his side. But would we consider him? Yes, I think so.”

@minenhlecr7 


The Mercury

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