Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou has talked up the importance of the Cape Town Derby as the Urban Warriors gear to face crosstown rivals Cape Town City in the Mother City this Saturday.
The Urban Warriors will not only be hoping to bounce back from a 5-0 defeat to Bidvest Wits in their most recent Absa Premiership encounter, but also be desperate to make amends for the 1-0 loss suffered in the first ever competitive meeting against the Citizens.
Efstathiou was realistic in his assessment of the inaugural clash between the two Cape clubs, with a first-half goal from Bhongolwethu Jayiya settling matters on the day (23 September 2016).
“We all know how important the Derby is, we are very disappointed at the result of the last Derby; I think we could have pulled off a result,” said Efstathiou.
“But – to be honest – we didn’t deserve a win, maybe a draw. They were at the time a little more geared up, I think this time it is the reverse, and I am quite confident that we are in the driving seat this time around.
“The players are committed, I think their pride also got dented last time around. You go around in Cape Town as the losing team, whether you are an adminstrator, attend to the fields or you are a player – you still get the flack of losing.
Efstathiou continued: “We all want to be on the winning side and we want to claim our rightful position as ‘the’ Cape Town team. We have been in existence for 17 years and we have got the majority of the support
“We are going out there to win the game.
Moreover, Efstathiou pointed to the fact that the Ajax Cape Town team predominantly consists of players from the Cape Town area, with more than half the squad hailing from the Mother City and its surroundings.
“When we look at our squad: we have 34 registered players that have got Ajax contracts, 18 of them come from our youth structures, 18 are Capetonians – these are good stories,” Efstathiou added.
“More than half of our squad are from the academy, more than half are from Cape Town so who is the Cape Town team?”
Kick-off is scheduled for 20h15.