Ngele and Pirates, a long overdue love story

BONGANI MALUNGA

Provided the transfer links between Orlando Pirates and Mogakolodi Ngele are true, it would be a love story that has been brewing for close to 20 years. South African media reports have linked Ngele with a move to Pirates this past week, they believe that the Soweto giants are interested in Ngele in a bid to bolster their attacking options after a disappointing 2016/2017 season.
They have targeted a player who fits their profile, a two time Premier Soccer League champion, a player with a knack for scoring against them and a man who previously had a lifelong ambition to don the famous black and white jersey.
The Zebras attacker has always enjoyed a great record against Pirates, he catapulted to a cult status in 2013 when he scored a brace against his boyhood club in the Telkom Knockout cup final as a second half substitute and his heroics won the cup for Platinum Stars at the expense of the Sea Robbers. Two years later he punished Pirates again when he scored a hat trick against them at the Orlando Stadium.
Ngele grew up supporting two teams, Manchester United and Pirates, the latter has been close to his heart for a long time and he has flirted with a move to them in 2014 when he was contemplating leaving his then club Platinum Stars for greener pastures.
This publication once reported that had it not been for a local agent masquerading as his representative, Ngele would have joined Pirates in 2014. Pirates believed that they had stolen a march on their rivals by holding talks with an unnamed Botswana based “agent” who was believed to have close links with Ngele, they later found out that the individual had misled them while the player was actually represented by established agent Mike Makaab at the time.
“We held talks with an agent from Botswana who claimed to represent Ngele, but now we have learned that he is represented by Mike Makaab. We’ll now hold talks with Makaab and try to work something out,” said a disappointed Irvin Khoza. However, that was as good as it got for Pirates as their attempts to sign Ngele hit a brick wall.
Platinum Stars learned of the illegal approach for their player through the media and refused to do business with Pirates, as a result Mamelodi Sundowns capitalized on the hostility between the clubs by offering to sign Ngele and immediately loan him back to Stars for a season.
The loan aspect proved to be a sweetener, something Pirates could not offer and he eventually joined the Pretoria outfit.  Ngele’s spell at Sundowns has not been as successful as he would have liked, he has been prized out of a return to Bidvest Wits and is still further down the pecking order at Sundowns, a move to Pirates would offer him regular football and a chance to lead Pirates’ resurrection as a PSL force, a feat that would rank among his greatest achievements should both scenarios materialize.

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