Gifted Ngidi returns and aims for the stars
Six years ago, Snethemba Ngidi showed us glimpses of what his career could have been like had injuries not paused the talented youngster in his tracks.
In 2012, Ngidi left an impression during the eight-nation international Under-20 tournament while turning out for the South African youth side Amajita.
Such was Ngidi’s influence in the national youth team that he was tipped for stardom after he helped Amajita to a third place at the event, which was ultimately was won by Brazil.
However, as with many other promising talents before him, the midfielder faded into obscurity once the tournament ended.
He said a series of injuries – he hurt his ankle and knee, and ruptured his Achilles – that prevented him from reaching his goals.
At the time of his exploits at the Cape Town tournament, he was on the books of the SuperSport United Academy, which he had joined at the age of 12.
“I have suffered serious injuries before, but this last one really left me broken to a point that I was contemplating quitting the game,” Ngidi said.
“This was after I suffered an Achilles rupture in February.”
In his many seasons at SuperSport, he never really cracked it into the Matsatsantsa a Pitori senior team, except for cameo appearances in 2014, while alternating this with runs in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) side.
It’s only now that the 23year-old is picking up the pieces at NFD side TS Galaxy.
Ngidi returned to full fitness in September and his comeback coincided with the appointment of Dance Malesela, who assumed the coaching reins in the same month.
“I could have been far with my career,” said Ngidi, who comes from KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal.
“I first underwent a knee operation in coach Gavin Hunt’s final season at SuperSport and I was loaned to Vasco da Gama in the NFD. Upon my return, coach Gordon Igesund was the one in charge and I couldn’t find space in the first team, but featured mainly in the MDC team.”
Ngidi is excited to play under Malesela at the Rockets.
The diminutive midfielder has been central to Malesela’s trademark passing game. Last weekend, Ngidi and his teammates exhibited their passing skills when Galaxy shared 21 passes among them with the last touch resulting in a goal in the 5-2 demolition of Ajax Cape Town in the Nedbank Cup qualification competition. “Coach Dance understands the way I play, and we also understand his coaching philosophy. I am enjoying my football again,” Ngidi said.
“He always reminds us that, ‘to score, you need possession’. All we need is to get more numbers in the box because we have been playing good football, yet we are not translating our dominance into goals.”
Ngidi said the big win was history as their focus had shifted to help drag Galaxy out of the bottom segment of the NFD log. Galaxy – placed 12th on the NFD log with 13 points from 12 games – host leaders Stellenbosch FC at the Kameelrivier Stadium in Mpumalanga this afternoon. The game kicks off at 3.30pm.