PRO­FILE

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sportsexpr­ess - By Nick Said

Nkany­iso Zungu grew up in a staunch Kaizer Chiefs house­hold, but will now get the chance to make him­self an Or­lando Pi­rates legend fol­low­ing his move from Stel­len­bosch FC in the last trans­fer win­dow.

The mid­fielder claims he went against his fam­ily's wishes in sup­port­ing Pi­rates as a boy, though that might be an at­tempt to win over The Ghost, who might not take kindly to hav­ing a con­firmed Chiefs fan in their squad.

“The in­ter­est­ing thing is that I come from a fam­ily of staunch Kaizer Chiefs sup­port­ers, but as soon as I was old enough to make my own de­ci­sions, I went against the grain and chose the black and white of Pi­rates. I think I was mainly at­tracted to their style of play,” he said.

“Play­ing for Pi­rates has been a child­hood dream of mine so you can imag­ine what went through my mind when the call came through. But hav­ing said that, join­ing is only the start, I need to work hard to build on this and make this op­por­tu­nity count.”

The 24-year-old Zungu is con­sid­ered to be one of the best passers of the ball in the Premier Soc­cer League and first emerged at AmaZulu.

He was still at school when he made his de­but against Wit­bank Spurs in 2015 in what is now the GladAfrica Cham­pi­onship.

He fea­tured in 27 of the club's 30 league games that sea­son and fol­lowed that up with an­other fine cam­paign, be­fore los­ing his way once Usuthu bought their way back into the top flight by pur­chas­ing the sta­tus of Thanda Royal Zulu.

He went on loan back in the sec­ond-tier at Jomo Cos­mos and got his con­fi­dence back, but was then re­leased to Stel­len­bosch ahead of the 2018-19 cam­paign, when he was re­united with for­mer AmaZulu coach Steve Barker.

He played all 30 league games last sea­son and was a key cog for them in the first half of this cam­paign, be­fore Pi­rates swooped in to trig­ger a re­lease clause in his con­tract and take him to Gauteng.

Zungu could make his de­but in the Absa Premier­ship clash away at Black Leop­ards on Sun­day.

Pic­ture: Backpage Pix

NKANY­ISO ZUNGU.

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