Prince Ndlovu: Orlando Pirates assessing Zimbabwean giants Highlanders FC's teenage sensation

Jose Riveiro, Orlando PiratesBackpage
  • Pirates have already started preparing for next season
  • A Zimbabwean player is trialling at the club
  • Zim giants Highlanders have confirmed

WHAT HAPPENED? Prince Ndlovu left Bulawayo for Johannesburg on Sunday to begin his auditions under the watchful eye of Pirates coach Jose Riveiro. The Buccaneers coach will take advantage of the current Fifa international break to assess Ndlovu.

The teenager made his Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League debut in July last year and has been progressing well. He is also reportedly a target of Croatian second-tier aside HNK Vukovar 1991.

It will not be the first time for Ndlovu to be at Pirates after training with the Soweto giants in January.

WHAT WAS SAID: “Prince is supposed to leave today [Sunday] with an evening flight. He will be on trials from the 20th to the 26th of March,” Highlanders communication and marketing officer Nozibelo Maphosa told The Chronicle.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is an exciting development that Riveiro has shown keenness in a 17-year-old. Last week, the Pirates coach said he will not be pressured to field youngsters simply because other traditional giants Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns are doing so.

This was after Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena handed 16-year-old Siyabonga Mabena his top-flight football debut in a season he has also trusted other young players like Cassius Mailula, Ntando Nkosi and Jerome Karelse.

Chiefs' attacker Mduduzi Shabalala is now enjoying some regular football at 19 while the likes of Wandile Duba and Samkelo Zwane are also with the first team.

Riveiro has preferred experienced players after signing mid-season arrivals of 35-year-old Ndumiso Mabena and Makhehlene Makhaula at 33. He also secured the services of 32-year-old Kermit Erasmus.

WHAT NEXT FOR PIRATES? With Premier Soccer League action on a pause to accommodate international football, it is a good time for Riveiro to have a look at Ndlovu without the pressure of preparing for demanding assignments.

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