MTN8 win crowns year for Benni McCarthy

Benni McCarthy.
Benni McCarthy.
Image: Chris Ricco / BackpagePix

It did not take long for Benni McCarthy to cut his teeth as a respected and decorated football coach.

After an illustrious career as a Bafana Bafana striker and playing abroad, a lot was always going to be expected from McCarthy when he ventured into coaching. This is why winning his maiden trophy as a coach is one of the positive football happenings of 2018.

McCarthy guided Cape Town City to MTN8 glory, beating SuperSport United via penalties in the final in September. It's only the Bafana record scorer's second season as head coach of The Citizens.

In the wake of clinching the Wafa Wafa title, an ecstatic McCarthy said winning his first title as a coach equates to his Champions League title with FC Porto in 2004, where he scored a brace against English giants Manchester United en route to the final.

"This one has its own merit. As a player, I was part of a group, I never did it on my own. I think this one is a little bit the same but with this particular one we're the ones having to manage 28 to 30 players with different personalities and different egos," McCarthy said. "So I think this one [the MTN8] has to be almost right up there with the Champions League."

Hopefully, McCarthy's success story can sway local club owners to give former footballers a chance to coach, not always be assistant coaches.

City owner John Comitis must be applauded.

On the other hand, ex-footballers must empower themselves by obtaining coaching badges, like McCarthy did.

In what was already a year filled with proud moments, the City tactician put the icing on the cake when he earned his Uefa Pro Coaching Licence last month. He's the only SA coach in the PSL to hold the prestigious qualification.

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