Cape Town City FC owner John Comitis is confident that the city’s football fans will respond positively to the project underway in the Mother City.
14 of the players that did duty for Mpumalanga Black Aces last season as they finished in fourth place have made the trip from Nelspruit to Cape Town while more transfers are set to follow including some foreign players from countries as far away as Spain and Australia.
As the squad takes shape, attention is now turning as to how their new hometown will take to the team this season following confirmation that the PSL franchise will play their home games at the 55 000-capacity Cape Town Stadium.
‘I think Capetonians have in their minds what it took to be at a World Cup game and fill out the stadium. We just need to ignite that passion, that element in them,’ Comitis told SASoccermag.co.za.
Pointing to the example set by the rugby sevens last year, Comitis is confident that there is enough passion in the city to drive the team.
‘You look at how the city responded to the rugby sevens.
‘How they filled the stadium for the weekend.
‘We know how to do it, it’s just to have the desire and a reason and hopefully the brand, the Cape Town colours and the city itself behind the team is something that will reignite that interest and then the fans themselves participate with social media to find out what is going, how to get to the stadium and get tickets for the matches.
‘It’s not complicated to get a ticket. It’s a Computicket purchase, so that is easy.’
One way in which Cape Town City have managed to kickstart their relationship with Cape Town’s football fans is their creative #ItsYourCall campaign which called upon fans to decide which away kit would accompany the inaugural blue and yellow home strip.
— SASoccermag (@sasoccermag) July 2, 2016
But which names will be appearing on the jerseys?
‘We have 90% secured a technical sponsor. We are in negotiations with a shirt sponsor and we are sure that is something that will be done in the near future.’ Comitis confirmed.
— CapeTownCityFC (@CapeTownCityFC) July 1, 2016
Another initiative announced last week was that 50 legends will receive lifetime memberships to the club while a number of players who turned out for some of Cape Town’s famous clubs of yesteryear like Cape Town Spurs, Glenville, Hellenic and Cape Town City will receive season tickets for the 2016-17 season.
Comitis was dealt something of a blow when Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Muhsin Ertugral performed a late change and did not arrive with the squad in Cape Town, instead preferring to take up the post at Orlando Pirates. Comitis then moved quickly to convince Ertugral’s predecessor at Pirates, Eric Tinkler, to join his project in Cape Town.
‘You can’t take anything away from his experience and his knowledge, he would certainly stabilise the ship instantly but this is a long-term project and sometimes, if I’ve got to be honest, Muhsin is maybe not a long-term coach.
‘He likes to perform and then perhaps move on to something bigger and better. So in a way, perhaps this more conservative approach with Eric Tinkler, who is very, very qualified is the way to build the blocks.’
The former Bafana Bafana international midfielder is one of the few South African coaches who holds his Uefa Pro License coaching badge; proof that Tinkler can match his on-field experience with the qualifications off of it. The club’s owner will be leaning on Tinkler’s knowledge to help put structures in place for a professionally run club that can match European standards.
Craig Rosslee will act as the club’s Director of Football while Ian Taylor and Calvin Marlin have joined Tinkler’s coaching team.
Tinkler got his first taste of his new team on Monday when he took training in Green Point on Monday as the club gears up for the upcoming PSL season and MTN8 campaign.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix