Ngcongca thanks Wenger

BELGIUM-based defender Anele Ngcongca is grateful to Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger for helping him secure a move abroad.

BELGIUM-based defender Anele Ngcongca is grateful to Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger for helping him secure a move abroad.

It was the popular Wenger who recommended the Gugulethu, Cape Town-born Ngcongca to First Division League side Genk FC in Belgium.

This was after Ngcongca dazzled Wenger when he was in London two years ago for trials with the English Premiership outfit.

"My manager (Collin Gie) knows that I have always loved Arsenal from when I was still a little boy, so one day he asked if I would be interested in training with Arsenal," Ngcongca said.

"The next thing I was on a flight to England where I trained with Arsenal. Coach Wenger was clearly impressed with what he saw, but I could not get a work permit.

"The problem was that I did not meet the requirement of the work permit of playing 75percent of Bafana Bafana's games.

"Coach Wenger immediately spoke to the technical staff here at Genk, who did not hesitate to sign me, based on his recommendations.

"I have been enjoying myself here with Genk being very supportive.

"I would like to thank coach Wenger for helping me secure this move."

When he went to Arsenal in 2007, the 21-year-old Ngcongca was doing duty for Western Province United.

Ngcongca, who joined Bafana Bafana yesterday for the first time for Saturday's game against Germany, is the second South African to play for Genk after Aaron Mokoena.

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