When the USA Team with stars such as Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey took on Algeria in a Group C match of the FIFA 2010 World Cup at Loftus Stadium, Black Leopards goalkeeper King Ndlovu was part of that match as a ball boy.
Little did he know that a few years later he would be playing at the same stadium in one of the top Leagues in Africa.
17-years-old at the time, Ndlovu was part of the ball boys recruited by the World Cup Local Organizing Committee from the Rosina Sedibane Modiba Sport School based in Pretoria.
“I enjoyed my time as a ball boy a lot and learnt a lot from lot of goalkeepers because I used to stand at the back of the post so that I can learn from them,” Ndlovu told FARPost.
“During the World Cup of course Itumeleng Khune was our goalkeeper as South Africans so he was my favourite during the World Cup but I also liked Iker Casillas and I think he was amazing,” said Ndlovu.
“I was a goalkeeper long before I became a ball boy, I came to the Academy as a goalkeeper and that’s how we are selected as ball boys. There were also other players as well who have turned professional such as Boikanyo Komane (Chippa United) and Vusumzi Mncube (JDR Stars) who were part of the ball boys crew,” added Ndlovu.
The 2010 World Cup was not the first stint for the former Jomo Cosmos keeper as a ball boy.
“I was also a ball boy for SuperSport United for the whole season when they won their third League title so I learnt a lot from Denis Onyango and other goalkeepers who were playing against SuperSport.
“The message I can give to young ball boys who are now aspiring to be professionals is to be patient and hardworking, these things take time, just keep on the belief, hard work with discipline and determination I think everything will go according to plan,” he said.
The 27-year-old tells this publication that his wish is to find himself playing in a World Cup stage for his country one day.
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By Ofhani Munyai