Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler has said that building a squad from the bottom up and instilling a family atmosphere where everyone knew what was required of them‚ have been behind the new side’s phenomenal success so far in 2016-17.
Tinkler said he initially set his sights on a top eight finish.
So far though‚ his side’s fairytale first season in the Premier Soccer League has seen City usurp top spot just past the halfway mark in 2016-17‚ with 31 points from 17 games.
Tinkler‚ the 46 year-old former Orlando Pirates coach and Bafana Bafana midfield hard man‚ has masterminded an impressive turn in fortunes so far for a side who are still only nine months old.
“I think the transition has been a very good one and extremely challenging one‚” Tinkler said of City’s formation‚ after chairman John Comitis acquired the PSL franchise of Mpumalanga Black Aces in May lat year.
“I knew obviously from the offset that it would be a massive challenge. We only started with 14 players and then it was about rebuilding the squad and wanting to create something from the ground up.
“In order to achieve that‚ you have got to be willing to put in a lot of hard work and that’s precisely what we’ve done.
“In the beginning the pressure wasn’t extremely high in terms of where we needed to finish in the league. And that was obviously the discussion I had with the big boss [Comitis].
“Our aspiration was to look to get to the top eight‚ with that as the target‚ and build a squad to be extremely competitive. That was important for me.
“And I think we’ve managed to assemble that and we have created a family environment at the club‚ where‚ right from the offset‚ everybody knew exactly what we are getting into and what was required for us to achieve things.
“That’s the reason we find ourselves where we are right now‚” he said.
City were formed in May when former Ajax Cape Town chairman Comitis bought the top-flight status of Aces.