Ndou brothers on collision course


READ: Leopards' next game at Thohoyandou

"I think it feels good because it's the first time we are going to play against each other," Celtic striker Rendani tells KickOff.com.

"So I don't know like on his side how he feels, but as for me I'm happy to play against him. I was at home last week, I told him jokingly 'wena sizodla kuwe. Just recently you scored an own goal against Pirates, even Sunday you are going to score two of them. If you can score just three own goals so we can get three points we will be okay, because you are used to scoring in your own net if you see your teammates failing to score upfront. Ulishaya ekhaya'.

"We laughed about it, we were joking you see but he got angry and left."

Thivhavhudzi was responsible for Orlando Pirates' first goal in a 2-1 loss on August 28 when Thamsanqa Gabuza's cross connected with his foot and ended up in the back of the net.

While Rendani has joked with Thivhavhudzi about the own-goal in the lead up to their match on the weekend, he says he comforted his sibling soon after it happened at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

"I phoned him, in fact it was ‘Sheriff’ [Lucky Baloyi] who pushed me to give him a call for words of encouragement. I told the boy that 'these things happen in football, you are still going to make a lot of mistakes, this is PSL not NFD'. Ja, I told him ‘to be strong because you are still going to cost a penalty, two penalties in one game, and score an own goal on top of them. This is the PSL, you must learn to be strong, you need a heart here'.

"I told him to 'let people talk and say hey usidlisile ... That's why you are a PSL player, it means you are the best. If you were not the best you wouldn't be here, they would have released you if bewungekho mnandi. They decided to take you with them to the PSL knowing that in the PSL it's tough, but still you are playing. You have played three games before this one, they said nothing'.

"I told him to be strong because we are still coming for our three points. He is short-tempered but I told him that if they can just give us the three points we'll be happy because we want the Q-Innovation, we want the league."

Rendani went on to discuss where the club loyalties lie in the family.

"At home they support me a lot you see, and they also support every team I move to. But now because Thivhavhudzi plays for Leopards, obviously they are going to support Leopards because it's a team they support at home. If we can beat Leopards on Sunday that won't sit well with them I know. But if Leopards can beat Celtic, it will be 50/50 but they will be a bit happy you see because that's their home team and they love it, honestly speaking.

"Our parents are still alive, both mom and dad. I think honestly speaking my father doesn't like football, it's mom who likes football. When it comes to support, yes Dad does speak and tells us 'yes boys you played well' but you can see that football is not his thing. In fact akanandaba nalo, not to say he hates it but he doesn't understand it.

"Our mother understands it though because she also plays it with these other grannies. You know in the villages there are these football teams for grannies. My mother likes football a lot because each time there's a game on TV she watches, all the games. She would tell me 'you see today you didn't play well'. She understands football. She also phones Thivhavhudzi to let him know if he has done well."

Rendani says he wouldn't put a hard challenge in on his brother or any opponent if he felt there is a chance of a serious injury given the bleak career prospects of most local footballers.

"When it comes to 50/50 challenges, as a player you must think of the other person. When I see that I'm going to hurt him during a 50/50 challenge, sometimes you must pull out regardless of who you are playing against, because his career can be finished. Not to say I will pull out just because he is my brother, even if it's not me or him. I must pull out if I see that I might end someone's career. Or he must pull out if he's got a heart. I know he is a hard tackler you see but sometimes he must not say just because it's Rendani I must pull out. He must pull out to everyone if he sees there might be some damage. How are you going to feel after finishing someone's career? You know most soccer players are not educated, we only depend in football."

Meanwhile, the former Polokwane City forward says playing at Thohoyandou Stadium will not intimidate Siwelele as they are used to operating in front of a big crowd.

"Football is something else, you can talk all you want and say no one gets out of here with a win but we will be using one pitch. We get a crowd at Bloem Celtic, we are used to such things. These are our kind of games because we were going to get angry if we were going to play in an empty stadium. The Venda crowd will be supporting us in the second half."