Cape Town - Cape Town City boss John Comitis is over the moon with the progress Benni McCarthy has made as head coach of the club.
When McCarthy was unveiled as Eric Tinkler’s successor, the football fraternity were sceptical of Comitis’ choice as the 40-year-old had only previously ever held an assistant position at Belgium Pro League side Sint-Truidense.
However, the former Bafana Bafana striker surprised his critics with the way his team has performed under his mentorship as they currently occupy third position (27 points) on the Absa Premiership log.
With the second half of the season in full swing, McCarthy’s side are fighting for the title alongside log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns (31 points), Free State Stars (28), Kaizer Chiefs (26), Orlando Pirates (26) and Baroka FC (25).
“I have been very happy with the progress of Benni,” said Comitis at a press conference held in Green Point on Wednesday.
“I think he had a lot of challenges to overcome and what happens is, it's pretty much like when a new player comes into the squad, they peak early and then they go through a period where they are adjusting, and then they start growing from that again.
“The same thing happens with coaches and he had extra matters to attend to with his first job so he’s confronting things for the first time.
“He’s confronting the way he interacts with me as a chairperson, in terms of my involvement or not, he’ll experience that in the future with a different chairperson and every club runs their affairs differently.
“Some chairperson's are very arm’s length and others are very involved, but it goes beyond that, it’s also about the experience he is having as a coach.”
Comitis seems to be content with his choice and quite patient, but maintains that everything McCarthy is experiencing will help towards his growth as a manager.
“That’s what creates the growth, but you could see on the uptake, he’s very quick, you can see that he has foresight for the anticipation of what is going on around him at a very high level, things that took me years and years to realise, he sees them pretty quickly, because he has been in environments like that on the biggest stages.
“There’s not much I can tell him, he can stand in a changing room and he already knows what the players are thinking because he knows how they react to situations."
Comitis continued: “He’s a good man-manager, he understands the players but what he doesn’t do, and I give credit to him, he doesn’t compromise hard work and commitment, you give him that you get a chance.
“There are 27 players and he’ll use any of you and at any moment he can throw anyone in and he would be justified in the way he does it.”
The Citizens boss wants to offer the former West Ham United forward a 10-year contract, something that has never been done in local top flight football before.
“If you said to me, 'what would you do next with Benni?', I would give him a 10-year contract,” Comitis said without hesitation.
“I’d like to see us moving into our new stadium with him at the helm, I’d like him to be the one to lift up the first trophy for Cape Town City and if I can convince him to do that, I will certainly try.”
City will shift their focus to the Ikapa Derby against Ajax Cape Town taking place at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Kick-off is at 15:30.