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Makhanya: JDR Stars striker signs new deal amid reported Orlando Pirates interest

4:05 PM SGT 16/11/19
Rhulani Mokwena, coach of Orlando Pirates, October 2019
The Hammers are looking to retain Ndish's services for at least another season with Bucs and Masandawana said to be circling around him

JDR Stars chairman Nditsheni Nemasisi says they are keen to keep reported Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates target Moeketsi Makhanya.

The promising striker has been one of the top performers in the National First Division (NFD) this season - scoring four goals in 10 matches.

Nicknamed Ndish, Makhanya's exploits are said to have caught the attention of Premier Soccer League (PSL) giants Sundowns and Pirates.

However, Nemasisi has moved swiftly to offer Makhanya a new contract as the club looks to keep its most prized asset ahead of the January 2020 PSL transfer window.

“We had to offer him a new deal before other clubs came for him. And at least he was reasonable with his demands despite having quite a few options. We were happy to keep hold of him," Nemasisi told Daily Sun .

“It was important for us to keep him this season, it was also important for his career that he stays with us for at least another season.

“For us as a club, we had to have a strong base starting the league. For him as a player, he had to learn to play in a professional league with a coach who was going to be patient with him. It was a win-win situation."

Nemasisi, who is also the Stars head coach, explained that one of the reasons why they want to keep the 23-year-old player is because he is still developing.

“He is not a complete player just yet, he is coming. He is almost there. We had to keep him for his benefit and ours as well," he added.

“We didn’t want to get into this league and then go back to the ABC Motsepe League, it’ quite difficult there.”

The Hammer Boys are currently placed second on the NFD standings with 20 points from 11 matches – five points behind the leaders, Uthongathi.

The Stars boss feels Makhanya will be key for the Gauteng side as they attempt to gain promotion to the PSL at the first attempt.

“He (Makhanaya) is a humble boy who works hard. He knows how to score goals and is a true team player,” Nemasisi continued.

“For me, I thought maybe the media coverage and the speculation about his future would unsettle him but it hasn’t. He is very grounded and has a great future ahead of him.

“He carries the hopes of JDR. His contribution has been big and a lot is expected of him.”

Makhanya hit the back of the net 24 times for Stars in the ABC Motsepe League last season and he played an instrumental role in helping the team gain promotion to the NFD.