ZIMBABWE international forward Tendai Ndoro ended a disastrous short spell in Saudi Arabia after completing a two-year deal with South Africa’s Absa Premiership side Ajax Cape Town for an undisclosed fee yesterday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The sensational return to South African football comes after the 30-year-old Warriors striker left Soweto giants Orlando Pirates in August to join Saudi Arabian side Al Faisaly for a reported fee of around $600 000.
However, despite the financial gains accrued from the move, Ndoro struggled to adjust to life in the oil-rich gulf nation, scoring just one goal in four appearances before deciding to retrace his roots to South Africa.
The move will see Ndoro reunite with Turkish coach Muhsin Ertugral, who he worked under at Mpumalanga Black Aces and briefly at Pirates.
Rumours of Ndoro’s possible move to Ajax started after the former Chicken Inn star was spotted at Ajax’ Ikamva base last week.
The Urban Warriors, who were reportedly desperate to sign the Zimbabwean, finally put an end to the speculation after confirming the news of Ndoro’s acquisition on their official website yesterday afternoon.
“Ajax Cape Town are delighted to announce the signing of Tendai Ndoro. The Zimbabwe international has committed his services to the club for the next two seasons after successfully passing his medical, and he has already started training with his new teammates at Ikamva.
“Ndoro joins the Urban Warriors from Saudi Arabian-outfit Al-Faisaly for an undisclosed fee; whom he signed for from Orlando Pirates in August of this year.
“The forward will add firepower to an Ajax Cape Town outfit eager to climb the Absa Premiership standings, starting with a favourable result against Maritzburg United next week Friday; the first of six league matches for the club in January 2018.
“The former Mpumalanga Black Aces striker reunites with Muhsin Ertugral in Parow, having previously worked with the Ajax Cape Town head coach in Soweto.
“Ndoro scored 12 goals in 30 league appearances during the 2016-17 season for the Buccaneers, before moving to the Middle East two games into the ensuing campaign,” Ajax said.
Ertugral, who recently returned for his fourth spell at Ajax after working with Ndoro when he made his first break into South African football in 2013, said he was delighted with Ndoro’s acquisition, describing him as “a very valuable player to any team.”
“Having a player of Tendai’s magnitude and calibre on board for any coach is a massive boost; he is a great player and hopefully he can rise to the occasion,” said Ertugral.
“I am very excited to work with him once more in South Africa, he will be a very valuable player to any team and I am confident he will do very well for us. I am very, very pleased to have him at the club and thank you to the club’s management for making this transfer happen.”
Ertugral continued: “He is the complete package, he has played overseas, performed for big clubs in the past and his experience will be a valuable asset. There are a lot of talented youngsters at the club and Ndoro will help them in reaching their potential.
“He [Tendai] is firing on all cylinders and hopefully we can get back to winning ways for our loyal supporters,” Ertugral concluded.
Ndoro’s move comes after Ajax Cape Town last week completed the acquisition of Gerald Takawara to their roaster for the second half of the season from Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum.
Ajax will be hoping to have both players registered and with work permits in time for the opening game of 2018 when they host Maritzburg United at the Cape Town Stadium.
Takwara was part of the Zimbabwe side that won the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa last June and has just helped FC Platinum do the league and cup “double” in Zimbabwe.
Ajax, who parted ways with Dutchman Stanley Menzo on December 21, will be desperate for the Zimbabwean pair to make an immediate impact as they sit second from bottom on the log and in real danger of being relegated at the end of the season.