Recent changes in football have seen an increasing trend of former players venturing into management after hanging up their boots. For some, things have worked out well while on the other hand, the same can't be said for others. Nonetheless, zooming into our very own continent we recently witnessed one of the greatest players to ever come out from South Africa lifting his first ever cup as coach. This is none other than Benni "18 area" Mccarthy. The Cape Town born former Orlando Pirates striker led his team FC Cape Town to glory in the recently ended MTN 8 cup competition. FC Cape Town beat Supersport United 4-1 on penalties to claim the richest cup tournament in the continent cruising all the way to the bank with an 8 million rand cheque ( USD 540 000), quite a historical moment for Benni in only just his second season as a coach.
His journey as coach has been an encouraging one I must say. Leading his team to the top 5 in the 2017/2018 season was quite an achievement for someone who was being thrown in the deep end of the very volatile coaching job. Mind you, he also happened to be the manager when FC Cape Town lost to the very same Supersport United last season, so this was more like revenge being served at its very best by Benni and company. In his two year stay at the club, Benni has certainly improved both his side as well as himself in the process.
FC Cape Town have become an organised side that many teams find hard to break down due to how well they are organised. Moreover, Mccarthy himself has learnt a great deal as a young coach, making a lot of mistakes while also making a lot of positive strides while at the helm of the team. All that has enabled the 40-year-old Mccarthy and his team to finally clinch a cup and open up the club's trophy cabinet to introduce their first ever trophy with the hope for more silverware in the future. Benni has achieved what only few have been able to by winning this cup. With a glamorous football career which saw him lift the UEFA Champions League with Jose Mourinho during their time at Portugues giants FC Porto, an equally glamorous coaching career is dawning.
With one cup in the bag, many will agree that the stakes are now even higher for Benni and consistency is key if he is to engrave his name as one of the best local coaches in South Africa. Whether or not he can go on to win the league with his team, is a story for another day. But rest assured, the former Blackburn Rovers marksman certainly has the right attitude which will help him develop faster and become a better coach. Many have even earmarked him as a future Bafana Bafana (the South African men's national team) coach and I would totally approve of that idea. Mind you, Benni is the long-standing record goalscorer for Bafana Bafana so surely giving him a chance to lead the side wouldn't be a bad idea after all, or so at least I would like to think, "local is lekker", as most South African football fanatics would say. Either way, Benni's maiden trophy as coach might just be the right tonic to propel him to be counted amongst some of the best local coaches in South Africa (provided he stays consistent and doesn't get the sack).