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Tinkler: ‘City not a stepping stone to other SA clubs’

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New Cape Town City boss Eric Tinkler and club chairman John Comitis have insisted that they do not want the club to be viewed by players as a stepping stone to earn moves to other PSL teams.

Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler (right), next to club chairman John Comitis speaking about his plans for the team going forward. Picture: Phando Jikelo, African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – New Cape Town City boss Eric Tinkler and club chairman John Comitis have insisted that they do not want the club to be viewed by players as a stepping stone to earn moves to other PSL teams. Instead, they want their talent to aim to play in Europe if their intention is to leave the club.

“The team has matured and players at the club must realize that this team is not a stepping stone to other teams in the league. They need to target clubs in Europe. Not only do they and our national team benefit from this but the club also benefits,” said Tinkler, who also confirmed that he did not apply for the Bafana Bafana coaching job which was recently handed to Belgian Hugo Broos.

To illustrate the point made by Tinkler, Comitis pointed to the example of recently departed former City goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh. The Dutch international joined City in 2018 when he had been struggling to find suitable suitors in Europe. After growing his reputation, he has since earned a move back to the Netherlands where he will line up for FC Groningen next season alongside Dutch football great Arjen Robben.

Former Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates mentor Tinkler was recently appointed by City for a second coaching stint following the sacking of Jan Olde Riekerink who lost his job following the club’s below-par displays this season.

City have not won a piece of major silverware since claiming the MTN 8 title under the tutelage of Benni McCarthy, a run that Tinkler will be looking to end.

The Citizens have been prolific in attack this season as they have scored the second-highest number of goals (39), with only league Champions Mamelodi Sundowns (44) having scored more. The Western Cape club is currently seventh in the league and will need to avoid defeats in their final two games this season against Black Leopards and Mamelodi Sundowns to all but secure a vital top-eight place.

However, they have been woeful in defence having conceded 36 goals, only matched by relegation candidates Leopards and Chippa United.

Comitis has admitted that things have not gone according to plan for the club this season, adding that the motivation behind the recruitment of Tinkler was due to the 50-year-old’s ability to work well with footballers from different backgrounds.

“We are not happy with being average which has been the case this season. At the start of the season, I thought that we had assembled one of the best groups of players in our fiveyear history but things don’t always work out on the pitch as they do on paper.

“Sometimes the missing link is the person that can get everyone to tick. (Eric) Tinkler is back because we are an ambitious club and we know what to expect from him,” said Comitis.

@ZaahierAdams