Cape Town City boss John Comitis has told it all about getting new coach Jan Olde Riekerink to the Southernmost tip of Africa.
As reported here on Futaa, former coach Benni McCarthy left City on named as the club’s new head coach.
While Riekerink’s CV speaks for itself as far as his deep experience, club boss Comitis took the information further by defining just what the years and travels seen on the Dutchman’s profile means.
“The new guy’s got a very vast amount of knowledge. I think he’s going to also direct us in the correct way of structuring the football aspect, content aspect of our club. He comes with so much experience that we are going to learn from him,” Kick Off.
“You know I didn’t have much time, on Monday when I started the process it was my first call because Jan and me go back to the Ajax days, and you know he has 12 years at Ajax Amsterdam. So there’s nothing this man hasn’t done in football.”
“The big clubs that he’s coached you can see exactly the pedigree so when he said ‘listen I will consider it’ and we spoke jokingly ten years ago and he said ‘one day I want to coach your team in Cape Town, I love Cape Town’ I said okay. That was my first call.”
“I had about 50 CVs on my desk, literally within 24 hours. And then he called me back about three, four hours later and he said ‘I think I’m going to do it’. So I said okay let’s do it. I got him on a plane and he’s here. I know what he is, I know what he can do. I have seen how Ajax [Amsterdam] built their teams over the years and having this amount of experience we can learn from him.”
“Jan was the only guy on my mind. And believe it or not, it was almost Jan or I was going to see it through with Vasili [Manousakis] for a few more weeks to see how to find another alternative.”
“At the moment it’s almost this year plus three more. But the bigger picture for us is about development of our youth structures. Prepare players for our national teams in the future. He did it for China for three, four years. He literally implemented the entire academy structure for China. His mandate is to review our entire structure, the way it is, the way our academy operates.”
“It’s got to be attacking football and to get all the players that we have to fall in line with that. Certainly you know we are trying to get our own stadium. We want by the time we move there, to have a well-oiled machine.”
“Well if you said to me ‘would you do the Benni appointment again now that you know what you know’ I’ll say yes, it was the right thing for the club at the right time. That was the right thing for a guy like Benni. We had structures where we knew it would support him, and get him to glow like he has.”
“But sometimes it’s important to surround yourself with people that can take you to the next level. What is important for us is development you know, and we have to have experts for this kind of thing.”
“With local coaches there’s nothing wrong, there’s a couple of names that popped up for us during the course of Monday in the event that we did not get Jan. But the guys like Pitso [Mosimane] are not available [laughs].
“So look, we took our risks with Benni, it paid off. He did wonders for the club and for him. This is our moment now to take the club to the next level,” concluded the former Ajax Cape Town boss.
Up next for the Citizens is one of the toughest trips in the country. City are due at the Thohoyandou Stadium to face Black Leopards on Sunday at 15:30.
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