Former Premier Soccer League Midfielder of the Season Siphesihle Ndlovu has opened up on his career stalling at Orlando Pirates and why he signed a one-year deal with SuperSport United.
Ndlovu, 26, was touted as one of the brightest prospects in South African football when he burst onto the scene with Maritzburg United in the 2016/17 season before he went on to scoop the Midfielder of the Season and Young Player of the Season titles the following season under then-head coach Faldu Davids.
It was a squad brimming with emerging talent as they impressed in the league and reached the Nedbank Cup final that season, where they lost to Free State Stars but several players went on to make big-money moves from the memorable Team of Choice squad.
Ndlovu, however, has not taken his career to greater heights as he failed to establish himself at Pirates over the course of the past three and half seasons where he racked up 68 appearances, but often found himself on the bench or playing as a makeshift right-back.
“It’s always something you reflect on and say that’s the standard you have South African people, so it’s a great thing, but at the moment for me, it’s just a restart for my career,” he said when asked by iDiski Times about his career progression.
“It’s a chance for me to try and reach the standards I’ve raised, so at the moment I’m working on that and I’m happy that I have some games in my hand and the team is doing very well.”
Ndlovu went on to seek a termination of his contract after it became evident that he was not part of incoming head coach Jose Riveiro’s first-team plans and signed for Matsatsana on a season-long contract, something not common in football.
“It’s difficult, but if you do it with manners, not fight, it’s possible. And if you’ve never bothered the club or insulted the club, it becomes a bit easier, it’s a reflection on you – that you have been behaving, you’ve been good to the club and served them well.
“Now you ask them [for a transfer] and obviously with a one-year deal it becomes difficult, a lot of things need to change and go down, so for me, it was a restart type of thing – I really needed this and if it doesn’t work on this one year deal, it means I need to go somewhere else.
“I said just give me the one-year deal, with this amount of money, I will be fine, and allow me to restart my career.”
He’s since started four games for Gavin Hunt’s side with three wins and a draw before the mid-season break as the Tshwane-based outfit sits in third place in the league, seven points behind league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.