Nden­gane’s Pi­rates wish fi­nally re­alised

De­fender set­tles in with dream de­but

Sunday World - - Sport - By Marc Stry­dom and Mark Gleeson

Al­fred Nden­gane al­most gave up on his trans­fer to Or­lando Pi­rates ever hap­pen­ing‚ the Buc­ca­neers’ new cen­tre­back has said.

The tough-tack­ling de­fender is one of the play­ers Pi­rates reg­is­tered in Novem­ber for the CAF Cham­pi­ons League.

Nden­gane has re­vealed that Pi­rates had shown an in­ter­est in sign­ing him for three years‚ but a deal never ma­te­ri­alised un­til fi­nally the de­fender man­aged to ne­go­ti­ate a re­lease from his con­tract from trou­bled Bloem­fontein Celtic in Septem­ber.

The Buc­ca­neers could only regis­ter him this month when the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow pe­riod opened.

“The club has been in­ter­ested in me for some time now – maybe two to three sea­sons‚ but for what­ever rea­son the deal never hap­pened. To be hon­est‚ I thought it would never hap­pen‚” he said.

“But look where I am now. I am here and I am pleased to be part of such a big in­sti­tu­tion.”

Nden­gane fi­nally made his Pi­rates de­but‚ im­press­ing with his no-non­sense‚ no-frills ap­proach in Bucs’ 4-2 Absa Pre­mier­ship win against Chippa United at Or­lando Sta­dium on Tues­day night.

“Ini­tially it was frus­trat­ing be­cause it is ev­ery player’s dream to play. No­body wants to sit on the side­lines for what­ever rea­son but it was also my re­al­ity‚” he said.

“Af­ter even­tu­ally com­ing to terms with the re­al­ity of my sit­u­a­tion‚ I de­cided to make use of the time to fa­mil­iarise my­self with my new sur­round­ings.

“The sup­port I re­ceived from my team­mates‚ the coaches and even from management was piv­otal and en­cour­aged me to be more pa­tient and wait my turn.

“My fam­ily have also been very sup­port­ive. With­out them, I don’t think that I would have been able to deal with the sit­u­a­tion of not play­ing.”

■ Bid­vest Wits have signed Phathut­shedzo Nange from Black Leop­ards to regis­ter a fourth sign­ing in the open­ing 10 days of the trans­fer win­dow.

The 27-year-old has made a strong im­pres­sion with his driv­ing mid­field play in his de­but sea­son in the Pre­mier Soc­cer League and joins the log lead­ers on a two-year deal.

He has made 11 starts for newly pro­moted Leop­ards this sea­son‚ scor­ing twice‚ in­clud­ing against Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knock­out tie at FNB Sta­dium in Oc­to­ber.

Nange has spent four-and-ahalf sea­sons with Leop­ards‚ largely un­der the radar, in the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion.

/Muzi Ntombela/Back­pagePix

Al­fred Nden­gane isnow see­ing ac­tion.

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