BENNI IS IN THE COACHING AREA
Now licensed, McCarthy out to coach with same winning mentality he had as player
KNOW what I bring,” Benni McCarthy said in that frank manner whichmade him one of the most colourful footballers this country has ever produced.
“I bring a winning mentality, my friend. I did it as a player and I am going to do it as a coach.” He wasn’t bragging. It was Benni, being Benni even though last week he received an important piece of paper that gave him license to brag.
The all-time Bafana Bafana top scorer (32 goals) got his Uefa A License that he was studying towards in Ireland.
That piece of paper took McCarthy a step closer to realising his dream of being a head coach in top flight football.
One of the clubs he would love to manage is Orlando Pirates.
The Buccaneers are the last team McCarthy played for, before he called an end to a glittering career that saw him win the 2004 Uefa Champions League with FC Porto and finish second in the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations with Bafana Bafana. But the 39-yearold knows that he has to earn his stripes before he can manage a club as big as Pirates.
“When I started with my coaching badges, I worked under Neil Lennon when he was at (Glasgow) Celtic,” McCarthy said.
“I was just in the background, working with the strikers and seeing how everything is done. I was looking at how he prepares training sessions, how he prepares for matches and how he analyses players.
“I was there for eight months. They were in the Champions League and then I had to start with my Uefa B Coaching License.
McCarthy continued: “I also got another opportunity from a friend of mine that I also played with, Alan Stubbs, at Hibbs (Scotland side, Hibernian FC).
“I was in the city that I stayed in, Edinburgh. He asked me just to come and help out.
“It was an opportunity for me to be around a team, players and just see how things are done.
“I learned how to deal with players individually. I have shadowed coaches who have transformed from players to coaches.
“I had two years of learning at Celtic and Hibs. And then I was appointed assistant coach at Sint Truiden (in Belgium).
“It’s good to steal ideas from other coaches and then tweak them here and there to make them your own. “The journey for me continues. “You never stop to learn. I am here to learn. If I manage one day, I will continue to learn.”
McCarthy described the path he took to be a Uefa A License holder as a journey of self-discovery, transforming from a person whose focus was mainly on himself and then the team second.
As a coach, the team comes first.
“I am extremely proud that I had the guts and determination to stick around to complete my coaching badges,” McCarthy said.
“I still have one more to go, the Pro License, which is the ultimate. “It was a tough journey. “It gave me an understanding of how the game works because I knew the game as a player, what I had to do to make myself play good and how to prepare for games.
“But doing the coaching badges prepares you on how to deal with players and a team, not just one individual.
“Those are qualities that you don’t have as a player.
“When you make that transition, from a footballer to a coach, you start to realise that there is more to football than just worrying about yourself.”