Mamelodi Sundowns defender Anele Ngcongca snubbed offers from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to extend his stay at Chloorkop by one year.
The former Bafana Bafana right back says he opted to stay in the country to be closer to his mother, who is battling diabetes.
“There were offers in Saudi Arabia and UAE, but I thought I’d stick around and be closer to my mom. I don’t know how long she will hold so I don’t want to be far at this stage. At least Cape Town is just two hours away from Johannesburg, so it works better,” Ngcongca says.
The 32-year-old says while he faces the possibility of limited game-time, his aim is to leave a lasting impact at Sundowns.
“I might not get game time but let me share my experience with the young boys who are at Sundowns. After all, it’s not about me, it’s about the team,” adds Ngcongca.
Before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, he had made 29 appearances across all competitions for Sundowns.
Earlier this year, there were reports the former Bafana Bafana international was pushing for a two-year deal while the club insisted on a year extension.
Well, it seems the two parties struck a good compromise, with an option to extend the deal beyond next season.
He singles out the 2019/20 campaign as his best season in South Africa, so far, after being disrupted by a recurring knee injury in the early stages of his Sundowns career.
Ngcongca joined the defending League champions in 2016 after spending eight years with Belgian giants KRC Genk before a loan spell with French side Troyes AC.
The former FC Fortune defender is eager to get back to action as Sundowns chase Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup glory.
“I think I’ve done fairly well, my performances have been good and I’ve already helped the team to one trophy – the Telkom Knockout. I’m quite happy to have overcome my injury challenges to get a regular run.”
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Pictures courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns
By Mthokozisi Dube