Benni McCarthy comes out of retirement, rejoins Pirates

2014-04-01 11:10

Orlando Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic has yanked Benni McCarthy (36) out of retirement to boost the Buccaneers’ blunt strike force.

Speaking to City Press last night, the coach revealed that talks took place between McCarthy’s agent Rob Moore and the club at the weekend, and the player was keen to dust off his boots.

“We had fruitful talks with Mr Moore and Benni jumped at the opportunity the first time he heard the news. We badly need a striker and all I could think of was Benni because I believe he has unfinished business at the club,” said Vermezovic, adding that the Bucs’ technical team has already drafted a special training programme for the Bafana Bafana all-time leading scorer with 31 goals.

The Serbian-born mentor, who also said he would cut the Pirates squad to a “manageable size”, said the scoring rate was worrying for the Buccaneers: “We managed to score more than one goal on just three occasions in 14 matches; the rest we averaged one goal. This is why I believe we need a finisher and we made the move for Benni.”

When contacted, McCarthy said he was on holiday in Durban and referred City Press to Moore.

“Sorry my brother, I can’t talk at the moment as I am on holiday with the family, please speak to Rob; he’s got the full details.”

Moore said: “I am excited that the coach still saw potential in Benni when he had long retired. But this is the trend in Europe as Manchester United once took the same decision with Paul Scholes. Benni wanted to end on a high the last time, but there were issues with the previous coach.”

McCarthy was Pirates’ leading scorer with 13 goals in all competitions in his first season with the Buccaneers during the 2011/12 season.

McCarthy will rejoin his former Bafana team-mates – Sibusiso Zuma (38) and Siyabonga Nomvethe (36) – on the veteran ranks as the Absa Premiership’s oldest marksmen.

Pirates senior administrator Floyd Mbele was expected to lodge McCarthy’s registration with the PSL this morning.

The Uefa Champions League-winning striker is a free agent and can register outside the player transfer window period.

» The story of Benni McCarthy coming back from retirement and rejoining Orlando Pirates was just a spoof and in the spirit of April Fools' Day! Some fell for the trick like one online publication from the Netherlands that called us, wanting to do a follow-up on the story. McCarthy started his career abroad at Ajax Amsterdam in 1997.

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