Benni McCarthy spoke exclusively to Times Media Digital this week after being named as coach of Cape Town City‚ stepping into the gap left by the sudden departure of Eric Tinkler last week.
Q: Benni‚ this is your first coaching job . . . how exciting is this challenge?
A: “I’m overwhelmed to be honest and just extremely grateful for the opportunity.
“Not many people would take such a risk, a gamble, on a guy who had a pretty remarkable career as a player but who knows nothing about coaching‚ because I’ve never been in this position.
“For that‚ I’m honoured and privileged I’ve been given the opportunity.
“Now it’s a question of me working as hard as I can to try to repay the debt that these people have put in me.
“I’m super-excited and extremely nervous as well because you never know what could go wrong.
“Football is a business where you have to take risks‚ you have to take a gamble sometimes. “It can pay off‚ it might not. “But as I know myself‚ it’s a risk that is going to benefit the club and it will pay off for me.”
Q: Do you have the confidence you can be successful?
A: “I have to‚ because when I look at the mirror I don’t see anybody else patting me on the back saying I can.
“It’s only me I see in the mirror‚ so of course I have the self-belief and I trust myself.
“I trust my work ethic and what I can give‚ from what I’ve experienced and what I’ve achieved as a player‚ to be able to relate to these younger guys now and what to say to them‚ especially in difficult circumstances.
“They will take that because they know that somewhere down the line I have been in the same situation when I was a player.
“I’m very confident in myself and I’m very sure I’m going to have the respect and the confidence of the players for them to go out there and chase the same goals as I want to achieve.”
Q: Coming back to Cape Town will complete a circle for you . . .
A: “It will be weird to spend more than a month at home in South Africa because obviously I’ve been away for a very long time.
“Home for me has been Europe and now the idea I’m home again is exciting.
“It makes me want to be successful here because there is nothing better than to be adored by the people who saw you grow up and saw you achieve your goals.
“Coming back as a coach now is probably the greatest achievement. It will be like a script from a movie if I can succeed.”