Tinkler explains the reasons behind City's movements in the market during the off-season
Cape Town City have aimed to bring necessary youth to an ageing squad with their signings‚ coach Eric Tinkler has said.
Among City’s pre-season acquistions have been DR Congo international centreback Nathan Idumba Fasika (22) from FC Saint Eloi Lupopo‚ right-back Patrick Fisher (18) from Cape Town Spurs and forward Khanyisa Mayo (22) from Richards Bay FC.
Tinkler added that the stats from a pre-season camp in Limpopo showed him that among his fittest players are some of his veterans. It is those players the coach will ask to steer the younger players as City aim to improve on last campaign’s seventh in the DStv Premiership.
“A very tall centreback‚ but technically gifted with good speed and aerial ability‚” Tinkler said of Fasika.
“Patrick Fisher is a right-back or right wing-back – young but with so much potential. He had a very good season with Cape Town Spurs last year in the NFD‚ and a fantastic player for the future.
“During our camp in Limpopo we also signed Khanyiso Mayo. So we’ve bolstered wing positions – he can play on the right and the left. Another young player.
“That’s what we’ve also been looking to do – bring on some young‚ talented players for the future.
“A lot of people are saying that we are an aging team‚ but I think we’re a healthy aging team. If I look at Surprise Ralani‚ Mpho Makola and Thato Mokeke‚ all of these guys are extremely fit and top of the charts‚ actually.”
After a short break of four weeks off City’s pre-season started on July 5. Week one was for medicals and fitness assessments‚ Tinkler said.
In week 2 City started started fitness loading “quite intensively”‚ and Fasika and Fisher arrived. In week 3 Justin Shonga arrived back from Cosafa Cup duty for Zambia‚ and Fagrie Lakay and Abbubaker Mobara returned from the SA Olympic team having been released for medical reasons.
“We started to get the majority of the squad back just in time to go on the camp. The purpose was team-building‚ focus on the game model‚ focus on the club culture‚ club objectives for the coming season‚ and bonding‚” Tinkler said.
“We also played three friendlies – against Venda Academy‚ Marumo Gallants and Mamelodi Sundowns.
“And I was very happy with the whole trip‚ and what we focused on. I felt we achieved those objectives and that we’re moving in the right direction.
“Now we’ve moved into week four where we’ve upped the tempo. We’re still going to be playing a lot of friendlies from now until that first game against AmaZulu to prepare ourselves to the maximum.
“We want to start in a positive note and to do that we’ve got to be working extremely hard right now.”
City kick off their season in their MTN8 quarterfinal against last campaign’s league runners-up AmaZulu on the weekend of August 14-15.