JOHANNESBURG — Is this the beginning of the end of Tendai Ndoro?
At 35, a controversial past, and without a goal in the past seven months, it doesn’t look good for the Zimbabwe international striker.
It’s hard to imagine that, just five years ago, he was hot property at Orlando Pirates and just about every club, in the South African Premiership, was chasing his signature.
Now, modest Super Diski side Highlands Park have parted ways with Ndoro, the club confirmed yesterday.
No reason was given for the player’s exit, except to say that it was “amicable”.
“Highlands Park confirms the amicable parting of ways with Tendai Ndoro following a meeting between both parties late on Tuesday,” a statement said.
“The club wishes him well and is thankful for his contribution in the team as well as the professionalism displayed during his time with us.”
Ndoro joined Highlands for the 2018/19 season, but scored just five goals in 27 appearances, the last of which came against Chippa United in October.
Ndoro has previously played for Mpumalanga Black Aces, Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town in the ABSA Premiership.
It was reported in March Highlands had secured the signing of Zimbabwe striker Kuda Kumwala, who will be able to play from the start of the 2020/21 season. It has been a spectacular fall from grace for Ndoro who arrived in South Africa in 2013, when he signed for Mpumalanga Back Aces, and made an immediate impact.
Ndoro’s agent, George Deda, poured cold water on the striker’s links to Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates, saying they were focused on getting the player ready for his intended trials with English Barclays Premiership club, Crystal Palace.
The striker has been heavily linked with a move to Sundowns and Pirates, with the Brazilians being seen as the favourites to land him, but Deda said they were focused on Palace. Orlando Pirates, saying they were focused on getting the player ready for his intended trials with English Barclays Premiership club, Crystal Palace.
“I am not very sure about the Sundowns and Pirates interest. You know what happens when you are playing well you get lot of attention from several teams especially during this off-season,” said Deda.
“The only deal that I can confirm is that he is going to Europe. He is supposed to go for trials at English Premiership side Crystal Palace. I have been in touch with the team, and as soon as they start their pre-season preps sometime in mid-June or beginning of July, he will attend the trials.
“But for now there is nothing yet that has been tabled from the ABSA Premiership teams. These are only rumours. When we get something we will let you know. At the moment I don’t have enough details, I have been away in Mozambique.’’
The following year, Ndoro signed for Pirates and scored 25 goals in 48 matches.
December 30, 2017
Ajax Cape Town announced the signing of Ndoro on a two-year contract after successfully completing his medical.
Ndoro, who left Pirates during the previous transfer window to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Faisaly, returned to the Premier Soccer League to reunite with former Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Muhsin Ertugral.
“Having a player of Tendai’s magnitude and calibre on board for any coach is a massive boost, he is a great player and hopefully he can rise to the occasion,” Ertugral told the club’s website.
“I am very excited to work with him once more, in South Africa he will be a very valuable player to any team and I am confident he will do very well for us.
“He is the complete package, he has played overseas, performed for big clubs in the past and his experience will be a valuable asset. There are a lot of talented youngsters at the club and Ndoro will help them in reaching their potential.
“He (Tendai) is firing on all cylinders and hopefully we can get back to winning ways for our loyal supporters.’’
But, after revelations Ndoro had appeared for three clubs — Orlando Pirates, Al Faisaly, and Ajax Cape Town — in breach of FIFA regulations, the union turned into a nightmare.
Ajax Cape Town had to forfeit the three league games he appeared for them, resulting in their relegation from the South African Premier League.
On 26 September, Ndoro signed for Highlands Park but, on 27 December 2019, Al-Orouba from Oman announced they had also signed Ndoro.
A colourful character
He said he didn’t even pick his O’ Level results as he only wanted to play football. “I wrote my final examinations but I never even went to collect the results, so I don’t know how I did in the exams,’’ he said.
“My parents didn’t understand my obsession with football even though my father played the game, too. But in his time, it was more about playing for entertainment than making money.
“We were good at school, but not that great and we used the talent we had in football.’’ — SuperSport/Kick-Off/Sports Reporter.