Tinkler: I have established myself

Tinkler: I have established myself

From a being an Orlando Pirates reject to being the pacesetter of South Africa’s elite league, reads the story of Eric Tinkler.

The former Bafana Bafana defender was discarded at Orlando Pirates and just days after the launch of Cape Town City, he was then announced as the man to lead the side in its debut season.

As a result, Muhsin Ertugral, who was in charge of Mpumalanga Black Aces before John Comitis purchased the club, went the other way and joined the Sea Robbers. A direct swap was in effect.

Given the Turk’s pedigree to win silverware, it appeared as though Pirates had the better side of the deal. It was not to be.

The former Kaizer Chiefs mentor had a disastrous stay in Mayfair, as Pirates reached an all-time low under his watch – losing 6-1 to SuperSport United – which left him with no choice but to unceremoniously turn his back and walked away … on live TV.

In the midst of all that, Tinkler, in the meantime, grew his infant City side to a small giant, having survived waves from Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, and most remarkably, completing a league double over African champions Mamelodi Sundowns – a feat last achieved by a crawling giant in the form of Moroka Swallows.

Tinkler went on to win the Telkom Knockout against SuperSport United in Polokwane less than six months into City’s existence. Remarkable.

The likes of Lebogang Manyama, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Robyn Johannes, just to mention a few, have found a new lease of life under the 46-year-old.

City are now on top of the Absa Premiership table, although it may be a short-lived stay, considering the constant change of flag bearers at the top of the summit, and regardless of their league position at the end of the season, the former Bafana Bafana defender has long arrived.

“I don’t think I am looking to establish myself, I think I have established myself. What I achieved at Pirates, I reached two finals and the Caf Confederation Cup final and that has merit in itself. But I know that the press judges a coaches success on trophies. I have won a trophy, so I dint think I am still being assessed. I don’t assess myself like that,” said Tinkler.

His side however has the least convincing goal-difference compared to their league rivals, but Tinkler is not concerned.

“I am just worried about winning games. I am not going to concern myself too much. I do not think we are a team that struggles to score. Week-in, week-out, we have the ability to score. The three points are actually more valuable for me than the point tally. We have a new target to set for ourselves, we have to do our post-match and respect the good and the bad that we did in the previous game, we have to find them and improve them,” he said.

He continued: “It goes down to wanting it more than them if you want to be serious contenders and if you want to achieve things in this game, it has got to come through to hard work.”

And in all the hard work that he is investing in his career, he hopes it will all be culminated at national level.

“I still want to achieve more, and I am always looking to learn more, and that is what I want to do before thinking about Bafana … not at the moment, obviously one day I would love to coach Bafana.”

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today in print

today in print