Rise of the City

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By Mthokozisi Magubane

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 8 of VARSITY.

When Cape Town City F.C. was launched on the 29th of June 2016, the social media accounts of the PSL teams were suspiciously quiet. It was as though the incumbents had nothing to say about the newcomer. City went on with their launch, regardless. At the helm of the new team, formed from the defunct Mpumalanga Black Aces, was one Benni McCarthy: Benni in the Technical Area? This should be interesting (yes, TKZ fans: “halakasha”). The new team and the new vision aside, I remember one thing that stood out for me on that day: I had never seen a team’s colours which looked like that. Yellow and Blue were to be City’s colours; and that logo? This wasn’t just a new team…this was the establishment of a new empire. We couldn’t give Benni a FIFA World Cup, so we gave him a City instead. In their first season, he led City to beating Supersport in the Telkom Charity Cup Final, the very same Supersport they will meet again in the 2018 MTN8 Final. En route to the final, they outclassed continental champs Sundowns in the semis.



City’s meteoric rise is written in their ashes. The irony is that it took a defunct team from the province of the rising sun and a former SA player who has seen his hey days, to inspire the Golden Age of the PSL’s newcomer. It would seem that destiny is not without its irony.


Image from Twitter @CapeTownCityFC


City’s team is one built around attacking intent. All the teams conquered by the Capetonian outfit have been dismantled by City’s intent. Their fluent attack allows them to adapt to even the most challenging games. Let’s not forget that in the 2016/2017 season, City finished third in the log. It was to be two draws and a loss that would be their undoing against the other title contenders; with Champions themselves winning by just three points. There is plenty to look at but there is still plenty to learn. That is why Coach Benni McCarthy is working on building the squad around their attacking style of play while keeping the midfield secure so that the established teams do not boss them around at the back, which no team so far has done.



The coach is building this City team; and their fan base is growing too. Even though the social media accounts of their competitors were quiet on the day of launch, City’s account is not: their country-wide fan base is established around the affectionate hashtag “#IAMCityFC”. On their website, City calls themselves “a disruptive force on the local football scene.” That is possibly why other PSL teams kept quiet on the day of City’s launch; and it comes as no surprise that to this day, they are still just as speechless.

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