What is Eric Tinkler cooking? 15-year-old handed chance at Cape Town City

The youngster has been part of the senior team training sessions ahead of a tough 2024/25 campaign.

Premier Soccer League side Cape Town City have taken the initiative to develop 15-year-old Emile Witbooi and shape his footballing career.

The teenager, who is the son of former Citizens attacker Surprise Ralani – who also played in Sweden and Denmark, has been impressive in the second-tier games, something that caught the attention of coach Eric Tinkler.

The 53-year-old coach invited the young midfielder to join the senior team in the pre-season, hoping to slowly introduce him to the top-tier games.

Will Witbooi emulate Mofokeng & Campbell?

In the just concluded campaign, clubs have been giving teenagers a chance to prove their potential.

The notable ones are Orlando Pirates' Relebohile Mofokeng and SuperSport United's Shandre Campbell.

Relebohile Mofokeng South Africa

The former played 38 games across all competitions for the Sea Robbers and went on to score five goals and provide six assists in the process. The 19-year-old's exploits convinced Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos to give him a chance with the national team.

Mofokeng made his debut in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe where his team registered a 3-1 win.

Campbell forced his way into Gavin Hunt's first team despite being just 18. He went on to play 24 games in all competitions, scored five goals and contributed six assists. 

The teenager has since secured a move to Belgian top-tier side Club Brugge ahead of the new season.

Witbooi can borrow a leaf from the duo and prove he has what it takes to follow in their footsteps. He will, surely, have a chance if he delivers in the pre-season.

What is Eric Tinkler cooking? 15-year-old handed chance at Cape Town City
Willis Sob

Willis Sob is an experienced journalist who has been in the game since 2009, covering major assignments around the continent.
His hunger for African football is unmatched, always getting the best angles and facts to feed the fans and quench their thirst.