Benni McCarthy not ready to answer Bafana SOS … yet

Benni McCarthy admits he would love to coach Bafana Bafana one day but says for now he is focused only on Cape Town City.

Cape Town City FC head coach Benni McCarthy shares a funny moment with his players during a training session and media day at Hartleyvale, Cape Town on August 1 2018.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

The country’s all-time leading goal-scorer was asked if he would answer an SOS from the South African Football Association (SAFA) should it come‚ and McCarthy said it is not something in his mind … for now.

“I don’t worry about that now. For me it is just about focussing on Cape Town City and doing well for the club and the chairman [John Comitis]‚ because he has put his trust in me‚” McCarthy said.

“I just want to concentrate on me and my coaching staff‚ and us trying to get things right to get us to where we should be. Anything that happens after that … .

“But my mindset is not on Bafana I’m afraid. Not even close.”

The former Blackburn Rovers striker went on to say that if the call did come in one day‚ he would like to take up the challenge. He said he feels he is ready for international coaching.

“If you get the call‚ if the opportunity arises‚ then I don’t think there are many coaches in the world that would turn down the opportunity to coach a national team‚” McCarthy said.

“As much as I am starting out [in coaching] and that …. but when are you ready to take such a big responsibility? When you are 50 or 60? I feel I’m ready for anything‚ I’m scared of nothing.

“So I don’t think the job‚ if ever the opportunity comes‚ would be too big for me. Also there is never a better time than now because‚ if I am not mistaken it is 16 or 17 years since we properly qualified for the World Cup [since 2002].

“We haven’t been participating in World Cups‚ except in 2010 when as hosts we did not have to qualify.

“When you look at that and you say to myself‚ ‘My God‚ you will become an instant hero if you qualify the team for the World Cup’.

“The last person to do that was Carlos Queiroz for Japan and South Korea. I know‚ I played for him!”

Current Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has been under mounting pressure after failing to qualify the side for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and a mixed campaign in the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Bafana host Nigeria at FNB Stadium on November 17‚ where victory will seal their qualification for the finals in Cameroon next June and July.

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