The now 43-year-old won the Champions League with Porto and was the second highest scorer in England’s Premier League while at Blackburn Rovers
AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has dismissed the idea his primary strength as a coach is in motivating his players.
Having played the game at the very highest levels in South Africa and Europe, there can be a perception that McCarthy’s stature in the game is what he relies on as a coach.
But this is very far from the case – McCarthy says he regularly burns the midnight oil to make sure every single facet of management is covered.
“I think people just have this idea, ‘Ja, the levels where he played, he doesn’t really need to say much or do much, he’s got coaches there.’ But it’s not like that,” McCarthy told iDiski Times.
“Every single day I go to bed, three o’clock, four o’clock in the morning, because I’m sitting up figuring out what is the best way? What kind of training sessions will the guys enjoy?
“What kind of training sessions will be good for us, where we can learn something new, and we can improve as individuals, and as a team, and that will help us to run teams off the ground, and be different from what every other team does,” he continued.
“And I think that’s what people don’t know about me, they just think, ‘ja, his motivational skills is good, he knows how to motivate players, he knows what to say to them.
“And they forget that when we coaching, I’m right there, you know, I’m in there, and I’m kind of a perfectionist, I don’t want mediocre.”
It’s often the intangible aspects of managing a football team that goes unnoticed, and as McCarthy points out, there is a massive amount of work that goes into ensuring that all players are focused and in the right frame of mind to give their all as individuals and as a collective.
“So I do demand that (respect), and then I try to drill that into my players as well. And you can see that there’s an incredible amount of work that goes into being able to get that, to have your players do that for you.”
McCarthy is in his second job as a PSL coach, having cut his teeth with a successful stint at home-town club Cape Town City.
He’s exceeded expectations this season by propelling AmaZulu up to second position on the league table.