Grace Chingoma Sports Reporter
LOCAL football manager George Deda has backed Zimbabwe international Tendai Ndoro to shine at ABSA Premiership giants following the former Chicken Inn man’s switch to the Soweto giants yesterday.
Deda was the first manager to facilitate a move for Ndoro in 2013 when the striker joined Mpumalanga Black Aces from Chicken Inn in August 2013 but due to the late processing of his paperwork, he had to play for the Bulawayo side until year end before moving to the South African club in January last year.
His former manager said he had always believed that Ndoro had the potential to play for top clubs in South Africa and is not surprised that he sealed his switch to the Buccaneers.
But Deda also warned Ndoro to keep his feet on the ground as he warms up to the demands of the former South African champions.
Ndoro, who had been on Pirates’ radar ever since his arrival in the ABSA Premiership, completed his switch from Mpumalanga to join a growing list of Zimbabwe internationals such as Takesure Chinyama, Edelbert Dinha, Zvenyika Makonese, Innocent Chikoya and Gilbert Mushangazhike, who previously featured for Pirates.
Ndoro told the club’s official website that it was a dream come true.
“Firstly, it’s a great honour and a dream come true to play for one of the biggest clubs in Africa, I wish to do my best in the coming season and repay the faith the club has shown me by allowing me to join its ranks,” Ndoro told the club’s official website.
“I know I have my work cut out for me because Pirates has one of the best striking departments currently in the PSL.
“All the strikers are in form and are scoring goals regularly, which is a good thing because it shows we have a strong striking department and knowing that I am surrounded by good and talented players is a huge motivation for me.
“I can only hope that I am able to contribute positively by scoring goals next season,” he said.
Back home, the move also excited his former club Chicken Inn, who besides going to benefit financially also hope the former player will expose more players still with Chicken Inn.
Chicken Inn chairman Lifa Ncube said they are also happy as a club and hope the big move by their former player would put them on the map and help in marketing their upcoming players such as Edmore Chirambadare.
“We are happy for Ndoro. We hope that at least he would be able to expose our players. We still have a top striker Edmore, who could follow Ndoro.
“We saw Ndoro when we were still playing in Division One. He was playing for Kujatana.
“When we got promoted, we tried to get Zokoto (Daniel) and failed and then Tendai joined us in June 2011 coming from Botswana,” he said.
The Gamecocks chairman could not be drawn to comment further on what they are going to get from Ndoro’s move in line with the “sell on’’ clause they enjoy as the parent club.
His former manager Deda also went down the memory lane, recalling when he facilitated the move to Mpumalanga Black Aces.
It appears Ndoro might have impressed more than one club when he was invited to Mpumalanga Black Aces in July 2013 for trials and featured in two friendly matches against Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town.
On that day he scored two goals against Pirates and created one goal at Rand Stadium and the following day Aces opened negotiations with his management team.
But there was a delay in his registration paperwork and he couldn’t play for the start of the 2013 season in August and Aces had to loan him back to his old club Chicken Inn.
“Tendai came from Division One sides Railstars and Kujatana and went to Botswana Premiership after spending the 2009 season with the Victoria Falls-based side Kujatana. He had tried to join Bulawayo Premiership clubs but couldn’t make it.
“When Chicken Inn got promoted in 2011, they bought him from Botswana. I have a good working relationship with Chicken Inn where I look for playing opportunities for their players. “That is when I identified him and many people didn’t know him then.
“Then using my links in South Africa, I managed to get hold of Jacob Sakala, coach of Black Aces, I had dealt with him back then in 2001 when I took Sandras Kumwenda and then Darlington Dodo to South Africa-based Dynamos.
“I invited him to come and watch him (Tendai) play when the national team played Zambia here. He was impressed and they later invited the two of us to Black Aces where he featured in friendly matches against Pirates and Ajax Cape Town and they were impressed.
“The official contract was in August 2013 just before the deadline and the paperwork was late. He then started playing in the second half of the season from January 2014 and missed by two goals to be the top goal scorer,” Deda said
“What I would advice Tendai is to be level headed and keep his feet on the ground. Pirates are not his final destination.
“Remember he was on the verge of joining Crystal Palace at some point and I still have that vision.
“Ndoro’s strength is the ability to take on defenders and can use either feet. These are some of his best attributes. He is not good with his head and I cannot remember a day he scored with his head.
“He can also play as an outright striker or behind the strikers. Recently at Aces he has been playing as a right winger.”