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

Benni McCarthy says the fact that he has acquired his Uefa Pro Licence means nobody can suggest he is just another former player automatically put on the coaching carousel because of his history in the game.

The Cape Town City tactician was recently awarded his Pro Licence‚ the highest coaching qualification in football‚ and says it validates the hard work he has put in to making the transition from player to the dug-out.

“It’s nice that I’m a novice coach‚ but with the highest qualification out there. It is not to gloat‚ it is merely that I needed to go and educate myself.

“I needed to learn about a side of football that I did not know much about‚” he said.

“I put in the work and nobody can point fingers at me and say‚ ‘yeah‚ all these ex-players think that because they played at a certain level and represented the country they are entitled to have a job lined up for them and they must be given an opportunity’.

“I never took anything for granted and I never asked for favours. I have always had to work hard for what I wanted and with this it is clear to see that I want to succeed. As a player I did one thing‚ as a coach now I needed to do this.”

Gaining his licence has been a real eye-opener regarding t he role of a head coach‚ he said, something he had never appreciated as a player in the elite leagues of Europe.

“To learn about it as a player is one thing‚ but now that I am on the other side coaching, it is a completely different world‚” McCarthy said. “There are so many things that I didn’t know while I was playing.

“What is the process coaches go through to select [teams] and why do they select [certain players] … what do they look for?

“I just had to concentrate on myself and make sure that I was giving the manager a headache to put me in the starting XI. That is all I worried about.

“There are so many things on these courses that you learn that we as players didn’t know. I would encourage every coach‚ if you have the opportunity and the chance‚ do the coaching license. It’s worth it.”

McCarthy admits his licence is just the beginning of the road for him though and says he lacks the experience of putting into practice what he has learned.

“Nobody can say nothing about me because I have got my qualification.

“But as much as I have the highest qualification in the game‚ I’m still learning and can still learn from every other coach.

“You don’t need to have a Pro Licence to be a successful coach‚ a lot of coaches in the PSL have something more than me and that is experience. I am still learning.

“But in the long run having a Pro Licence is going to become a must because of how the game is changing and evolving.”

McCarthy added he believes that Fifa will in the near future insist that all coaches who lead a professional team have a Pro Licence‚ as is already the case in parts of Europe.

“Fifa and Uefa will come up with the fact that every professional club coach will need to have a Pro Licence‚ so rather have it now than wait five or six years down the line and that rule eventually gets into football.”

Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goalscorer says he is using his Pro Licence to assist members of his technical team‚ which includes assistant coach Vasili Manousakis‚ though they all share ideas freely.

“I research different coaches‚ philosophies and styles … what works for one and doesn’t work for another.

“My technical team as well‚ we try and educate our group‚ we school‚ we bounce ideas off each other to see where we can make this work‚” he says.