An Orlando Pirates star who is quickly making a name for himself at the Soweto giants in his first season in the DStv Premiership, has been given a five-star rating for his immediate impact.
After being signed in August from Nigerian club Akwa United, defender Olisa Ndah has been working on getting into the line-ups regularly.
In the process, Ndah has managed to keep the team’s vice-captain Thulani ‘Tyson’ Hlatshwayo on the bench as was seen in the last two league matches against Cape Town City and Maritzburg United respectively.
Since joining Pirates, Hlatshwayo has been under immense pressure to pick up his form and has been hugely criticized for his defensive errors.
Against Maritzburg on Wednesday, Ndah was lauded for adding stability and a new element in the Bucs’ defence, as the team managed to keep a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
Speaking to the media ahead of Pirates’ CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round second leg match against Congolese side Diables Noirs, Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi discussed the qualities of the 23-year-old Nigerian centre-back and explained what he brings to the team.
“Ndah is a modern defender, a defender that any coach would love to work with. He is comfortable on the ground in the build-up attack, and he can use both feet and is strong in the air and he can defend one versus one. It affords the team an opportunity to play with a high line. If you want to press on top… if you want to press the opponents, you should not be worried about the space behind, he presents you with that dynamic,” said Ncikazi.
“I even think that at some point you can even play him in the middle of the park and that is what he presents in our team. He is strong on set-plays defensively and offensively. He’s just a complete defender. Maybe, very soon he should be even going higher than when he is right now. But I’m really happy for the contribution that he has provided in our set-up,” the coach told journalists.
Ndah, however, will not feature in the continental clash, as he is not registered for the competition.
View Orlando Pirates’ 37-man squad for the 2021/22 season: