Highlands Park still in the dark about new signing Tendai Ndoro's status
Tendai Ndoro has shown great hunger in training since signing for Highlands Park last week as he aims to put his career back together at the promoted Premier Soccer League club‚ his coach Owen Da Gama has said.
Da Gama‚ speaking after his team’s 0-0 Absa Premiership draw against Kaizer Chiefs at Makhulong Stadium on Tuesday‚ said he believed Ndoro could help Highlands score a lot more goals than they have been on their return to the top flight.
Eighth-placed Park have drawn five of their seven matches in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in 2018-19 and won one‚ scoring six goals.
Ndoro (33)‚ signed last week‚ will bring an attacking dimension to the team.
The mobile Zimbabwean ace was the PSL’s second-top scorer with 12 goals for Orlando Pirates in 2016-17.
Ndoro can be deadly‚ but also has a tendency to be erratic.
In 2016-17 he raced to 11 goals in the first half of the season for Bucs‚ but then scored only once in the second half.
A player who has been accused of a tendency of playing for himself more than his team might also have been mentally affected by last season’s Ajax Cape Town “Ndorogate” saga.
Da Gama was adamant that Ndoro’s attitude so far at Highlands has been excellent.
“Nobody can really say what the future holds. But his attitude has been spot on‚” the coach said.
“At training‚ even if he’s not playing in a friendly match‚ and he comes in with the second group‚ he gives it his all.
"So we are hoping that this partnership will work out well.
“We believe that Ndoro has taken a step backwards in order to move forward. There were bigger teams that wanted him. But the nice thing is that Ndoro wanted to be with us.
“But what the future holds‚ I think that’s in Ndoro’s hands. And we are there to support him fully and show him all the confidence that we can give him.”
Da Gama said Highlands need to confirm from the SA Football Association (Safa) if Ndoro received a suspension as part of the saga that became known as “Ndorogate” last season.
Ajax were deducted points that saw them relegated from the PSL due to fielding the striker‚ contravening a Fifa ruling that a player may only turn out for two teams in a season.
“We’ve signed Ndoro – that’s definite. But there was a case with Ajax‚ and we are waiting for an official letter to say what his status is‚” Da Gama said.
“We’ve heard that he’s been suspended for two games. When we hear that for certain then we’ll know‚ but we cannot just jump the gun.”
Da Gama said former Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United forward Abia Nale‚ who trained with Highlands‚ has not been signed.
He said ex-Pirates defensive midfielder Issa Sarr is still being assessed‚ and is “pushing hard” for a contract.