Cape Town City defender Robyn Johannes says things won’t be weird when he reunites with good friend – and now his club coach – Benni McCarthy.
Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading scorer recently took over the reins at City following the departure of Eric Tinkler to SuperSport United.
Johannes established a strong bond with McCarthy when the duo turned out for Orlando Pirates together some years back.
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“Look, it won’t be weird as stranger things happened in soccer in the past already,” Johannes told KickOff.com. “But I have to admit that there’ll be a bit of nostalgia when walking out on the training field for the pre-season with Benni in charge.
“We were teammates at Orlando Pirates a few season ago where we had success together and now he’s my coach. When I left Pirates for Golden Arrows our friendship remained as strong as ever. The banter and rivalry as teammates and opponents was also still very healthy.
“Mind you, it wasn’t easy defending against a striker like him as he was always on the move and you needed to be on high alert as he could punish you in the blink of an eye.
“I still have the utmost respect for him as a person and that will remain even though his my new coach now. We’re both professionals and know what is required to be successful.”
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The 30-year-old Johannes reckons that despite McCarthy’s limited experience as a manager, he has no doubt McCarthy can steer the club to greater heights.
“If you look at what Benni has achieved as a player then surely he deserves the necessary respect,” said the experienced defender.
“Benni’s hunger for success is clear to see. This is evident during his playing career.
“What I particularly like about Benni is that he’s not scared of failing and this is what makes him so successful. That’s why he achieved what no other South African soccer player did – Bennis is special.
“Yes, this will be his first job as a manager, but I have no doubt in his capabilities and we must just support him wholeheartedly, just like we did with our former coach.”
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The former Amazulu player also admitted he was more surprised with Tinkler’s departure than McCarthy’s appointment.
“I need to thank coach Tinkler for the belief and confidence he’s shown in me during his time with the club. It was a pleasure working with coach Tinkler and I wish him well with his new job,” Johannes concluded.