The former Ajax Cape Town boss unveiled one of the worst-kept secrets in recent weeks when he showcased the new PSL side at the iconic 2010 Fifa World Cup venue after buying the Mpumalanga Black Aces franchise recently and relocating it to the Mother City.
Comitis equated Cape Town City with the Stormers rugby team, and said one of the aspirational goals for the club was to identify with Cape residents and the local football public.
“We are doing this for Cape Town and want to get our football scene back to what it used to be,” he said. “In rugby, youngsters at school say they want to play for the Stormers one day. So we want to create that same stream where soccer players want to play for Cape Town City.
“That is why we want to have several satellite clubs and relationships where they work towards playing for the PSL club. We want a club that is truly Capetonian and need everyone on board to achieve this.”
One of the ways City will attempt to get the public buy-in is by giving recognition to past pro players from Cape Town Spurs, Hellenic, Glenville and the old Cape Town City. Any such ex-player will receive a free season ticket for the 2016-17 campaign, while a list of 50 Cape soccer legends will receive season tickets for life.
The team will play in a royal blue kit with a canary yellow band across the middle of the jersey, while they will hold a public campaign to help choose between two alternative away kits – one black and the other canary yellow.
Around 15 players from Black Aces – who ended in an incredible fourth position in the Absa Premiership last season under Muhsin Ertugral – have been contracted to Cape Town City at this stage, and Comitis said that they hope to grow the squad to between 25 and 28 before the season starts.
The current group includes born-and-bred Capetonian and former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters, while head coach Eric Tinkler’s technical team comprises of experienced campaigners such as Craig Rosslee, Ian Taylor and Calvin Marlin.
While City will play most of their home games at Cape Town Stadium, they have yet to establish a proper base – “we don’t even have an office yet,” said Comitis – but they hope to operate from the Green Point precinct due to the close proximity to sporting facilities and fields in the area.
But Comitis added that they are still in negotiations with the City of Cape Town in that regard, and hopefully turning the Cape Town Stadium from a white elephant to the vibrancy achieved during the 2010 World Cup.
The club also hopes to establish relationships with other top clubs around the world. The names of Manchester City and New York City have previously been mentioned as possible partners.
“I cannot do this alone. We’ve got to get Capetonians and the city council on board, as Cape Town is also a tourist mecca that we have to utilise through soccer,” he said.
“We need the City as well to work out how we can use the 2010 venue. Everyone knows the Fan Park element, that’s 25 to 30 000 people alone. It’s Cape Town’s club. We want to ignite this Friday football fever. We need to choose a day, like the first Thursday (market) in Cape Town. Sevens rugby sold 150 000 tickets over a weekend. We can do this.”
Safa-WP president Advocate Norman Arendse said the organisation wholeheartedly supported the new team, and quipped that now the Comitis family can battle with the Efstathiou family – owners of Ajax Cape Town – “on the field rather than in the courts!”
“Cape Town supplies many players to all clubs in South Africa, we are the Brazil of South Africa in terms of talent,” Arendse said. “John, don’t just develop players and sell them off to other clubs, bring the league and cup trophies to Cape Town. Look at Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat, they played here and now they’re at Sundowns. Keep our players here.”
Fixtures for the 2016-17 season have not yet been announced, but City said on Wednesday that their MTN8 cup quarter-final fixture will be against Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs at Cape Town Stadium.
Cape Town City FC contracted players
Bongolethu Jayiya, Vincent Kobola, Jackson Mabokgwane, Sibusiso Masina, Mpho Matsi, Aubrey Modiba, Judas Moseamedi, Ricardo Ndiki, Aubrey Ngoma, Thabo Nodada, Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Shu-Aib Walters, Given Mashikinya, Lebogang Manyama, Nana Akosah-Bempah.
@IndyCapeSport - Independent Media
Original source: Cape Town City to revive Friday night football