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Makaringe takes it upon himself to steer Zungu in the right direction

17 August 2020 - 13:59 By Marc Strydom
Eva Nga of Bidvest Wits is challenged by Nkanyiso Zungu (R) of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership match at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on August 15, 2020.
Eva Nga of Bidvest Wits is challenged by Nkanyiso Zungu (R) of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership match at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on August 15, 2020.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/Gallo Images/BackpagePix

Fortune Makaringe has taken it upon himself to steer his friend Nkanyiso Zungu in the right direction finding his feet at Orlando Pirates.

Zungu‚ the exciting‚ skilful midfielder signed in January from Stellenbosch FC‚ played a second game for Pirates‚ coming off the bench in the 65th minute‚ in their 0-0 Absa Premiership draw against Bidvest Wits at Ellis Park on Saturday evening.

He gave a hint of his class moments later with a clever ball in for the run of Gabadinho Mhango for Bucs' best chance.

Makaringe knows all about breaking into the star-studded central midfield at Pirates.

Arriving from Maritzburg United at the start of the season the lanky midfielder has grabbed his opportunities with forceful performances that have made it hard for Bucs' coaches this season to leave him out.

"Yes‚ he's actually my brother that one‚" Makaringe said of Zungu‚ who arrived at Bucs with a groin injury.

"We share a lot of conversations together. And we've known one another from when he was still playing for AmaZulu and I was at Maritzburg.

"So we share a lot‚ and I try to also give him proper advice and guide him where he needs to find solutions and stuff.

"I'm very happy for him‚ because he's actually taken some great steps.

"Coming in and he had some injury issues‚ he's taken the necessary steps‚ which is why we even gave him his debut against Sundowns.

"It shows that he's been working really hard and he's still going to offer a lot of great stuff for the team."

Zungu made his debut with a 91st-minute introduction in Pirates' 0-0 draw against Mamelodi Sundowns at Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday night. His half-hour against Wits showed a growing trust in the 24-year-old.

Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer said players like Kabelo Dlamini‚ introduced in the 55th against Wits‚ and Zungu will have a role to play as matches come thick and fast in the bio-bubble return to football.

"Dlamini came in and also made a good performance‚" the coach said.

"Tshegofatso [Mabaso] and 'Figo' [Linda Mntambo] also made good performances. We have players on the bench who are ready to play.

"Zungu will get more and more minutes - we'll have to see in the next game. And he's a good player.

"We work with him‚ he's ready for the work‚ he wants improvements‚ and tonight you saw it - he made a good performance for us."

Third-placed Pirates meet 13th-placed Baroka FC next at Ellis Park on Tuesday evening.


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