Africa-Press – South-Africa. Former Bafana Bafana and Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune says Erik ten Hag’s acquisition of Benni McCarthy on his technical team will inspire children back “home” in South Africa.
How an interview with Ten Hag, training Man United’s U23s landed Benni’s dream coaching gig
McCarthy was confirmed as first team coach of the Red Devils on Saturday, with Ten Hag bolstering his backroom staff to turn around the club’s fortunes ahead of the season, which kicks off on Friday.
“This will be an out-of-this-world experience for Benni,” Fortune told BBC Sport Africa, who was McCarthy’s teammate in the senior national team.
“If you look at what Benni has achieved in the game – a Champions League winner, league winner in Holland and Portugal, golden boot winner at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations and in Portugal, together with his coaching qualifications, his appointment is a no-brainer.”
United confirmed in the statement that McCarthy will be working closely with United’s strikers in order to further assist them in finding the back of the net.
However, Ten Hag revealed that he will also be working with the midfielders and defenders, to perfect players’ positioning on the field of play.
“I thought if Benni was going to be working only with the strikers, it was huge – but for me, it’s even bigger now that I’ve heard he will also be working with the midfielders and strikers,” said the 45-year-old Fortune.
“It’s a great move by the manager because Benni can speak Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish.
“This is so good because it will inspire the kids back home who can see one of their own now being part of the coaching staff at a club as big as Manchester United, who have a huge following in South Africa and across the world,” he added.
“It’s not only good for Benni but also for African coaches to show what’s possible.”
For the first time on Sunday, McCarthy was pitch side and in the dugout during United’s final pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano, which ended in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
United will kick off their 2022/23 Premier League campaign against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday (15:00 SA time).