City coach Tinkler eager to get new signing Nomandela onto the pitch

Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler is eager to get new signing Luyolo Nomandela onto the pitch but cautions fans they might not see him this year as he works his way back to full fitness.

City announced the capture of the former Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana attacking midfielder on Monday.

But after not kicking a ball in anger since the start of May‚ the 27-year-old has some way to go before he is ready for the PSL.

Ajax Cape Town turned down the opportunity to sign him after a trial last month‚ feeling he was too heavy‚ though he has looked noticeably slimmer since beginning his stint to impress Tinkler at City.

Tinkler says he would like to see Nomandela in action before Christmas‚ but feels that might come too soon with City home to SuperSport United on Friday and then away at Free State Stars next Wednesday.

“His fitness levels need to get better‚ I would like to see him before we go on the festive season break‚ but he has missed a lot of football over the last three seasons‚” Tinkler says.

“He still has quite a bit of work‚ but I am pretty sure he will be guns blazing when we come back for the restart of the league in February.

“As a professional sportsman and being out of the game as long as he has been … I know how it is. I was out for 10 months with an injury‚ so I know how long it takes to get back in.

“So we don’t want to throw him in the deep end too early. We want to make sure he is fit.”

Tinkler adds that Nomandela’s versatility was a key reason why he was signed as he can cover multiple positions in what is a thin squad.

“He’s extremely versatile‚ which is why we brought him in. He can play on the left‚ he has got a fantastic left foot.

"He can play on the right‚ behind the striker as a number ’10’‚ I even think he could play as a ‘9’‚ that’s how versatile he is.”

Nomandela burst onto the PSL scene with Free State Stars in the 2012/13 season‚ which he followed up with another fine showing the following campaign.

That led to a big-money move to Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of the 2014/15 season‚ but he made just two substitute appearances in six months at Chloorkop and he was farmed out on loan to Moroka Swallows for the second half of the campaign.

He spent the second half of last season on loan at Jomo Cosmos‚ but could not help them avoid relegation. He was released from his Sundowns contract in October.

Nomandela made his only two appearances for Bafana Bafana within three days of each other in August 2013‚ both off the bench‚ scoring in a 2-0 win over Burkina Faso. - TMG Digital