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Riekerink proves he is not a 'plumber' with two victories

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Johannes Olde Riekerink, head coach of Cape Town City.
Johannes Olde Riekerink, head coach of Cape Town City.
Image: © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

In his first few games in charge of Cape Town City after replacing renowned Benni McCarthy last November, Jan Riekerink came across as a coach out of his depth, prompting his critics to label him a “plumber’’.

A plumber in SA football context, is a term used to mock and discredit European coaches who struggle to produce the goods in the Premier Soccer League.

Only managing to getting a win in his sixth game at the helm of the Citizens prompted many to think Riekerink was another plumber. The City coach had a torrid start to life in SA, losing three of his five games, with two draws in the process.

He hit a new low when City were dumped out of the Nedbank Cup in the second round by struggling second-tier side Mbombela United who beat them 1-0 in February.

Fast-forward to the first two weeks of league resumption after Covid-19-forced recess, Riekerink has appeared to have finally gound his footing and himself as a competent mentor, making it two out of two wins into the restart.

City kicked-off their resumption programme with a convincing 1-0 win over strugglers Chippa United last Friday, before putting in a near-perfect show to outwit titlke chasers Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 on Monday.

While one can argue that it’s still too early, but if City’s performance versus Downs is anything to go by, Riekerink has assembled a team that’s capable of challenging for silverware.

The two victories have since thrust City into the top-eight, and they are sitting in position seven on the standings, with 33 points from 25 matches. The Dutchman has made it clear that their goal is to remain in the top eight until the end of the season.

“ It [Finishing in the top-eight] is a fair goal. Now we’re in the seventh position, it’s not the end of the competition [the league]. We can’t be happy now. We now have to protect this position,’’ said Riekerink after their win over Sundowns.

Riekerink inherited City from McCarthy when City were 10th on the log. They next face fellow Western Cape side Stellenbosch at Tuks Stadium, Pretoria,  tomorrow (6pm).

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