Wanted in Bel­gium

Downs de­fender Anele Ngcongca has been ap­proached by newly pro­moted Cer­cle Brugge

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - Sport - MMASEKEPE MATSEBANE mmasekepem@the­newage.co.za

ANELE Ngcongca is a wanted man in Bel­gium, not by the au­thor­i­ties, but by newly pro­moted Cer­cle Brugge.

The in­ter­est in the Sun­downs de­fender proves just how well re­garded the for­mer Bafana Bafana de­fender still

is in Bel­gium, where

he made his name with Genk.

In fact, the de­fender is a leg­end in Bel­gium, with Genk invit­ing him to an ap­pre­ci­a­tion cer­e­mony.

“Yes, there is an of­fer that I still have not looked at. I am fo­cused on win­ning the league, some­thing that I came home for and when that is done, I will in­ter­ro­gate just what is in this of­fer.

“I got a call from Cer­cle and they told me about their project for me, Bel­gium is my sec­ond home. I miss it. I don’t know what will hap­pen, but what I know is that I miss Bel­gium,” Ngcongca said.

This is an in­cred­i­ble turn of events con­sid­er­ing Ngcongca is 30 years old, has been plagued by in­juries in his two sea­sons at Sun­downs, with the 90 min­utes he played against Bid­vest Wits on Satur­day night his first in about two years.

But that has not stopped Cer­cle, who are coached by Frank Ver­cauteren, a for­mer coach of Ngcongca at Genk be­tween 2009 and 2011, where they won the Bel­gian Juliper League and par­tic­i­pated to­gether in the 2012 Uefa Champions League.

Now look­ing for ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers who can help Cer­cle in their first sea­son in the top league since their three-year stay in the sec­ond divi­sion, Ver­cauteren is look­ing at Ngcongca as some­one who can pro­vide steel to his youth­ful team, made up mainly by loan play­ers from AS Monaco.

The club, that cam­paigns in the French League 1, is the ma­jor­ity share­holder at Cer­cle and could also prove to be of ser­vice to Ngcongca to im­prove his net­work should he wish to con­trib­ute in send­ing play­ers to Europe in the man­ner that Benni

Mc­Carthy does. “The Cer­cle coach called to find out how many years I have left with Sun­downs. He is re­ally se­ri­ous about sign­ing me and with help from Monaco, it is wise that I lis­ten to them.

“I think I can give them two or three good sea­sons.

“But ob­vi­ously that will de­pend on how we talk at Sun­downs and if Cer­cle will want to pay up,” Ngcongca said.

“I will not lie. I am happy here at Sun­downs with coach Pitso Mosi­mane and the great play­ers we have.

“I have a chance to win the league, some­thing my late brother wanted to do and there is also a cup.

“But even at my age, Europe is still the place to be. I am used to ev­ery­thing in Bel­gium and I am cel­e­brated there. If the of­fer is good enough, we will have to sit down and talk.”

Should the move hap­pen, it would be pro­vid­ing a ma­jor plot twist to Ngcongca’s ca­reer in South Africa, where he was forced to re­turn fol­low­ing the death of his brother and with his mother be­ing in and out of hos­pi­tal.

It was Ngcongca’s row with the for­mer coach at Genk, who the player ac­cused of racially abus­ing him, that made it easy for him to re­turn home, with Sun­downs sign­ing him.

When Mosi­mane acted to se­cure Ngcongca’s sig­na­ture, he beat off com­pe­ti­tion from Kaizer Chiefs, killing off all of his brother’s dreams that Ngcongca would win the PSL with his beloved Chiefs.

Mean­while, the de­fender will be look­ing to help Sun­downs get closer to the ti­tle tonight at Loftus Vers­feld when they host Golden Ar­rows.

Sun­downs are top of the log with 52 points with Pi­rates right be­hind them on 49, though the Buc­ca­neers have played a game more than the Brazil­ians.

PIC­TURE: GALLO IMAGES

HOT PROP­ERTY: Mamelodi Sun­downs de­fender Anele Ngcongca.

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