Abbukaker banking on a victory.
Abbubaker Mobara says it was a “great feeling” to pull on the Cape Town City shirt for the first time against Baroka last weekend – and now he is looking for his team to bank a victory against Stellenbosch in Saturday’s local derby at Athlone Stadium (6pm kick-off).
Mobara, who played for Pirates last season, said: “It was a great feeling wearing the City shirt against Baroka FC.
“I think we should have come away with three points. There’s a lot of room for improvement and obviously a lot of things coming up for City. I hope we do wonders on Saturday, it’s an important game for us and every game we play we want to take three points.”
City Coach Benni McCarthy missed the season opener as he and his wife Stacey Munroe awaited the birth of their first son who greeted the world on Tuesday and was named Lio Romero McCarthy.
McCarthy arrives back in Cape Town tomorrow from Scotland. While away he has been calling his assistant Vasili Manousakis three times a day to check on the team’s progress and pass on instructions.
City captain Thabo Mkhize says Saturday’s game is a tricky one for the Citizens.
“Facing Stellies is going to be a bit tricky for us because we never watched a lot of their games in the National First Division last season,” said Mkhize.
“The most important thing for us is to keep doing what we’ve been doing in training and to make sure we prepare ourselves well for them.”
City’s three previous seasons in the league, which saw them finish in the top five, should give them the belief that they can see off their provincial rivals, who are competing at the top level for the first time.
City’s home venue Cape Town Stadium isn’t ready to host soccer matches, hence the switch to Athlone where the Citizens went unbeaten last season. And they also get good support in Athlone so they will take to the field believing they can bank their first win of the season.
“We never played derbies last season so it is good for the clubs and the people of Cape Town because we know they are passionate about football. We are also looking forward to playing our first game at home,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize, City’s Player of the Season and Player’s Player for the 2018/19 campaign, didn’t have much of a pre-season, but he also hasn’t been resting; the 30-year-old right-back returned to the club after a short break after his time with the national side.
‘Firstly, I’m happy to be back home. I’m always happy to be part of this team,” said Mkhize. “When I first came back to the club it was motivating for me to see all the young players pushing themselves and looking forward to the season.
“And the club’s new signings are quality players.”