Am­bi­tious City on the look­out for a su­per striker

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - RODNEY REINERS

CAPE TOWN City will only dip into the trans­fer mar­ket if a qual­ity striker is avail­able. With the win­dow sched­uled to close at the end of the month, the high-rid­ing Mother City club are happy with their squad, but like so many other PSL clubs, could do with a re­li­able, con­sis­tent goal-scorer.

The PSL is still on a break to ac­com­mo­date the 2017 Africa Cup of Na­tions in Gabon. The sec­ond half of the sea­son swings into ac­tion on Fe­bru­ary 3, but City will only be in ac­tion four days later when they host the Gor­don Ige­sund-coached High­lands Park at Athlone Sta­dium.

As it stands, City are in third po­si­tion on the PSL stand­ings, level on 25 points with the top two sides, Su­perS­port United and Bid­vest Wits. Hav­ing only been es­tab­lished as a PSL club last June, and with the Telkom Knock­out ti­tle safely in the tro­phy cabi­net, it has been a re­mark­able de­but cam­paign for the Green Point club.

But as they al­ways say in football, “you’re only as good as your last game”. For City, the chal­lenge now is to con­tinue where they left off, but it won’t be easy. They are now no longer an un­known en­tity and op­pos­ing teams will be pre­pared.

While a few of the for­eign play­ers have re­turned home in search of reg­u­lar game time – like Aus­tralians Matt Sim and James Brown, and Lat­vian Re­nars Rode – club boss John Comi­tis in­sists they will only add to the squad if the right player is avail­able.

“We are happy with what we have,” said Comi­tis. “We are look­ing at per­haps fill­ing the mid­field va­cancy left by Sim, but it’s not a top pri­or­ity. We can al­ways move (left-back) Thato Mokeke to mid­field and play Ebrahim See­dat in de­fence. The one po­si­tion we would like to strengthen is in at­tack, where we need a good striker. But there’s noth­ing around, so we’ll just wait and see. If a striker be­comes avail­able, some­one we think can add value to the team, we will con­sider it.”

The pos­i­tive mood in the camp, though, has con­tin­ued dur­ing the PSL break. The club’s two stars – and ar­guably two of the best play­ers on show in the PSL in the first half of the sea­son – Le­bo­gang Manyama and Aubrey Ngoma have signed con­tract ex­ten­sions, which is an in­di­ca­tion of City’s in­tent to keep the best play­ers at the club and a sig­nal that they want to chal­lenge for hon­ours.

In ad­di­tion, the team’s bright young prospect, 17-yearold Dun­can Ado­nis, has just been called up to the SA Un­der20 squad.

“It’s look­ing good,” said Comi­tis. “Now we have to pick up where we left off last year and con­tinue that form into the sec­ond half of the sea­son.”

Comi­tis was also ec­static that his “baby” – City’s DreamClub 100 vi­sion – is fi­nally un­der way. Last week, the 100 am­a­teur clubs af­fil­i­ated to the pro­gramme were named and it’s from here that City will draw their fu­ture play­ers and sup­port­ers.

“DreamClub 100 is the most in­clu­sive and far reach­ing youth de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme in the coun­try,” said Comi­tis. “It is a pro­ject that ben­e­fits the en­tire football fra­ter­nity in Cape Town. We have been over­whelmed and hum­bled by the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions and pos­i­tiv­ity about our ex­cit­ing new ini­tia­tive. We are look­ing for­ward to work­ing with all 100 se­lected clubs to build last­ing re­la­tion­ships.

“It’s an ag­gres­sive way of gain­ing the in­ter­est of the com­mu­ni­ties around us and through our club, it’s a pas­sage to the PSL for aspir­ing foot­ballers. Im­por­tantly, it’s a two-way street in that we will work with the clubs and they will work with us. We will ben­e­fit, and they will ben­e­fit.

“I can as­sure that in all my years in football, I have never ex­pe­ri­enced such en­thu­si­asm.”

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