“He’s just a complete defender” – Pirates coach highlights the qualities of Super Eagles star
The only Nigerian international defender in the South African top-flight is making waves after a string of top-notch performances
Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi has hailed Nigerian centre-back Olisa Harold Ndah as an excellent defender blessed with the qualities that will take him far in the game.
Ndah has required little time to adapt to the South African Premier Soccer League after making the switch from Akwa United in August.
The 23-year-old had arrived highly recommended after helping the Promise Keepers win a first-ever Nigerian league title and earning his first two caps for the Super Eagles.
Still, Ndah needed to prove his worth, and he has gone about convincing his employers in the best positive way.
The Asaba-born strong man has been involved in three league matches for Pirates, with the Buccaneers keeping clean sheets in two.
Ndah will not be available for the 1995 CAF Champions League winners when they battle Congolese challengers Diables Noirs in the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round second leg match as he was not registered for the competition.
But Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has explained how pleased the Sea Robbers are to have a player with Ndah’s qualities on their side.
“Ndah is a modern defender, a defender that any coach would love to work with,” Ncikazi said in his rematch press conference, as per Soccer Laduma.
“He is comfortable on the ground in the build-up attack, and he can use both feet and is strong in the air and he can defend one versus one. It affords the team an opportunity to play with a high line.
“If you want to press on top… if you want to press the opponents, you should not be worried about the space behind; he presents you with that dynamic.
“I even think that at some point you can even play him in the middle of the park and that is what he presents in our team. He is strong on set-plays defensively and offensively.
“He’s just a complete defender. Maybe, very soon he should be even going higher than when he is right now. But I’m really happy for the contribution that he has provided in our set-up.”
Orlando Pirates drew the first leg 0-0 in Brazzaville and will progress to the next round of the CAF Confederations Cup with any margin of victory at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday.