Benni McCarthy. Picture: THE TIMES
Benni McCarthy. Picture: THE TIMES

Benni McCarthy feels that Cape Town City can be real contenders for honours in the Premiership this coming season after expressing satisfaction with his new signings and pre-season preparations.

City kick off their league campaign with a home game against SuperSport United at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, which the 40-year-old coach says they must win to get off on the right foot.

"I’m optimistic and the new faces we have in the team — they have come in and made us real contenders now," he said at the team’s training headquarters at Hartleyvale on Wednesday.

"I’ve got a very balanced squad and two or three players for every position and that is a luxury to be in as a coach. I am excited for Saturday‚ we want to get the monkey off our back in the first one. It’s a home tie."

City’s new players include Dutch goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh from Ajax Amsterdam‚ impressive Ivorian defender Kouassi Kouadja‚ Siphelele Mthembu from Nedbank Cup winners Free State Stars and Riyaad Norodien‚ who joins from Orlando Pirates.

"We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves‚ we are a very good side and we play compact football‚" he said.

"We play very nicely on the ball — we have worked throughout the whole preseason to be more composed on the ball.

"We have added Peter‚ who has come in to beef up the squad nicely. He is so relaxed and so experienced‚ he brings a calmness to the group. With Sage [Stephens] there, we have two goalkeepers that allow us to play out from the back.

"We have tightened up where we lacked the most [last season]. Matthew [Rusike] looks like a new player‚ he is full of energy and wants to get going.

"Shaka Zulu [Mthembu] has come in and brought a completely different dimension to us. We can play‚ but now we’ve also got an outlet‚ a striker who can hold the ball up nicely for us," said McCarthy.

"We want to take it game by game. Every game is a new final‚ a new day, and we want to be 100% committed to every game‚" the coach added.

McCarthy’s maiden season saw the club go to the MTN8 final but ultimately finish without a trophy‚ something the coach wants to fix.

"For me‚ and my staff‚ we don’t want to come here every single day and not have the mentality that we want to win cups. If we don’t have that then we might as well go home.

"You work here because you want to win‚ we want to win every game that we play, and that means that every competition you are in‚ you want to try and go all the way.

"We don’t want to limit ourselves. Our collective goal is to win silverware‚" McCarthy vowed.