Pirates' Zungu backed to make waves


Orlando Pirates fans have yet to see what Nkanyiso Zungu can do in the black and white jersey but he has been backed for a fruitful stay at the club.

Zungu made the big move from Stellenbosch FC to Pirates at the end of January and has yet to make his competitive debut after arriving with a groin injury.

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The 24-year-old midfielder was a staple at Stellies prior to his relocation to Johannesburg after helping the club to top-flight promotion last season.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having aided the former AmaZulu attacker's time to recover, his former coach Steve Barker believes he is ready and has all the attributes to become a hit at the Soweto giants, regardless of all their quality options in the middle of the park.

"In Nkanyiso's situation, he has all the attributes – physically, he's big and strong; mentally, he didn't have the easiest sort-of upbringings [so] he's a tough kid; technically, he's one of the best I've worked with," Barker told the SA Football Journalists' Association.

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"He has the potential to become a regular player at Pirates and I think the challenge for him, which I did allude to when I spoke to him, is just that going to a club like Pirates has other challenges that he'll have to deal with – be it off the field or competition, etcetera.

"If he stays focused and applies himself mentally, pushes hard and is patient, and when he gets his chance, takes his opportunity – which I believe he will – he has a future there.

"But should it not work out for him in the first three-to-six months and he gets frustrated, it could become difficult for him.

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"So I'm really hoping that he gets an opportunity, because I believe if he does then he will be able to command a regular place."

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