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Kaizer Chiefs prodigy singled out as potentially SA’s best number 10

A Kaizer Chiefs academy graduate has been singled out as potentially South Africa’s best number 10.

The Chiefs’ youth set-up continues to churn out good players for the DStv Premiership giants. However, with the team’s struggles in recent seasons, the young players have not reached their full potential.

Happy Mashiane, Wandile Duba, Samkelo Zwane, Mduduzi Shabalala, Sabelo Radebe and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo are some players who rose through the youth structures.

La Masia coach Delano Hendricks, who previously had a stint in the Chiefs academy as a coach, has picked Ngcobo as potentially the best playmaker in the country.

Ngcobo is a player with huge talent, but he is yet to reach his full potential since being promoted to the Amakhosi first team in 2018.

However, the creative midfielder has shown glimpses of his talent. In the 2020/21 season, he featured in 40 games, scoring four goals and providing four assists, playing a crucial role in Chiefs path to their historic first CAF Champions League final.

In addition, the Pietermaritzburg-born attacking midfielder starred for Amajita at the 2019 Under-20 AFCON, where he was also included in Africa’s U-20 XI.

“I’ve been monitoring him quite closely, especially now with the pre-season. He’s far from his full potential,” Hendricks told FARPost.

Nkosingiphile Ngcobo ‘FAR FROM HIS BEST’

He believes the 23-year-old’s struggles could be down to several factors. “But it could be a lot of contributing factors. You look at the competition; secondly, playing for Chiefs is not easy.

In Amakhosi colours, Ngcobo has played in over 79 games, with six goals and three assists to his name. In the new season under coach Molefi Ntseki, the former SA junior international hasn’t enjoyed much game time, with a single appearance so far.

Nkosingiphile Ngcobo of Kaizer Chiefs off to warm up with teammates
Nkosingiphile Ngcobo

“As talented as you are, there’s a lot of pressure. Ngcobo, in his first few games, was sort of a solution to the problems. And that’s a lot of pressure from a young boy.”

With the changes at Amakhosi, which saw Molefi Ntseki take over as head coach while Arthur Zwane remained as an assistant coach, he believes it’s almost the proper set-up for him to thrive.

“With a lot of consistency that we can see at Kaizer Chiefs. Coaches being kept and players being kept, the new faces that came in that can gel. We will see the best of him.”

The La Masia coach called on the media not to break young players still establishing themselves in the game.

“It’s also important that we don’t break him when he’s at his lowest. That comes from the media especially,” he added. “These young boys are not always equipped to deal with off-the-field problems. So we have to support him.

“But what I can tell you now is he’s far from his best, his full potential, and if we support him enough and encourage him enough, he is probably naturally our best number 10 in the country.”

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