Tinkler close to bringing continental football to the Cape
SMISO MSOMI IN DURBAN
African News Agency
CAPE Town City Head Coach, Eric Tinkler is just two matches away from etching himself in the club’s history books by grabbing City’s best ever finish in the league and qualifying for the CAF Champions League. The Cityzens are the in-form team in the league and are currently on a remarkable 12 match unbeaten run and are the only team to not taste defeat in the year 2022. The 51 year-old mentor’s pedigree in cup competitions is undisputed after winning the Telkom Knockout in his first stint with City in 2017 before going on to lift the MTN8 the following year in the Supersport United dugout. However his ability to manage a team into the kind consistency required to contend in league competition has always been in question with his philosophy often in the spotlight for enabling the concession of goals against his sides over the years. The Cape Town based side are leading the race for second place with 48 points after 28 matches, closely followed by Royal AM who are three points adrift and have a game in hand. Tinkler and his Cape Town City side seem to have found the right formula at just the right time too as teams around them seem to be feeling the pressure of contending for next season’s continental football spots. The Roodepoort born coach has an unmissable imprint on this City side, a high energy, full throttle and aggressively attacking style of play that can be traced back to his time with Orlando Pirates in 2013. City have averaged an impressive 2 points per match in the second half of the season, collecting 30 points in their last 15 matches played. In that same period they’ve managed to slow down goals against them, conceding just eight goals, largely due to the form of Goalkeeper of the season contender, Hugo Marques. City may be best equipped to fly the South African flag on the continent next season with Tinkler at the helm having been involved at that stage for a number of years during his playing days with Bafana and also during his time with Pirates. The ex-buccaneers man was on the bench when they went down to Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final 2013 as assistant to Roger De Sa and also led his own Pirates side to a CAF Confederations Cup final in 2015.