Ndengane opens up over Pirates move

Ndengane arrived at Pirates in October after rather surprisingly parting ways with Celtic, where he spent the last four-and-a-half years of his career, although his registration could not be completed until the current January transfer window.

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The 31-year-old was forced to bide his time on the training ground until he eventually made his first appearance in the Buccaneers’ colours this week.

“I joined the club towards the end of last year and obviously since this was outside of the transfer window, I could not play immediately,” said Ndengane on his new club’s website.

“Initially it was frustrating because it is every player’s dream to play. Nobody wants to sit on the sidelines for whatever reason, but it was also my reality. 

“After eventually coming to terms with the reality of my situation, I decided to make use of the time to familiarise myself with my new surroundings.

“The support I received from my teammates, the coaches and even from management was pivotal and encouraged me to be more patient and wait my turn. 

“My family has also been very supportive, without them I don’t think that I would have been able to deal with the situation of not playing.”

The former FC Cape Town centre-back also confirmed that Pirates had eyed his services for quite some time, and is delighted that the move has finally come to fruition.

“The club has been interested in me for some time now – maybe two to three seasons now, but for whatever reason, the deal never happened. To be honest, I thought it would never happen,” he admitted.

“But look where I am now. I am here and I am pleased to be part of such a big institution. Joining a club like Orlando Pirates is a dream come true for me but more so for my wife, because she is a huge supporter of the club.

“The way she was excited you would think she was the one that signed for the club.”

Ndengane has also expressed joy after making his bow in front of the club’s home supporters at Orlando Stadium as they beat The Chilli Boys 4-2 in the Absa Premiership on Tuesday evening.

“It was nice to play next to Happy [Jele]. This is someone that I’ve had many duels with during my time at Celtic - it was nice to be fighting on the same side for a change.

“My debut was special for many reasons. For starters it was at Orlando Stadium - the home of South African football and it was also a game where we collected three points,” he concluded.

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