Ambitious City on the lookout for a super striker
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.”