Goalie wants to see himself coaching in the PSL one day

Leopards keeper Ndlovu has big dreams

King Ndlovu of Black Leopards during the GladAfrica Championship 2019/20 PlayOffs match between TTM and Black Leopards at the Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on the 12 September 2020
King Ndlovu of Black Leopards during the GladAfrica Championship 2019/20 PlayOffs match between TTM and Black Leopards at the Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on the 12 September 2020
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Eleven years ago, King Ndlovu was a SuperSport United ball boy, but he is now fulfilling his dream of playing in the DStv Premiership with Black Leopards. The 27-year-old goalkeeper used to stand behind his idol Denis Onyango’s goalposts.

The former Jomo Cosmos goalie looks up to Mamelodi Sundowns and Ugandan International Onyango, the African Goalkeeper of the Year, as his inspiration.  On the final day of the 2019-20 season, Sundowns defeated Leopards 3-0 to clinch the Premiership title for an extended record 10th time.

Ndlovu was in goal for the Venda-based outfit and watched his favourite player in the league, Onyango, celebrate a league title triumph. One day, the Ga-Rankuwa star wants to experience the feeling of winning a trophy with the Limpopo giants. Ndlovu joined Lidoda Duvha in the 2018-19 season from GladAfrica championship side Jomo Cosmos.

Cosmos coach and owner Jomo Sono recruited Ndlovu to play for his side at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Varsity Football team in 2017. There is never a dull moment when Ndlovu is around, and he is one of the funniest characters in the Lidoda Duvha team. He played nearly 40 matches in all competitions since his arrival in Thohoyandou.

“I want to develop into a top keeper just like Onyango. Next season, my goal is to win the Goalkeeper of the Year award. I want to keep lots of clean sheets and help Leopards finish in the Top 8,” said an optimistic Ndlovu.

He is in the third season of his five-year contract.

“I want to be a coach in the PSL. People think that just because I’m a goalkeeper who wants to be a future coach, I won't succeed because I am a keeper, and I want to prove them wrong. When I retire, I want to register for the Uefa A coaching license qualification,” he said.

Ndlovu coached the TUT B team a few years ago, and that is where he rekindled his love for coaching. Ajax Cape Town is coached by former SuperSport and Sundowns goalie Calvin Marlin.

SuperSport coach, Kaitano Tembo, is also assisted by Bafana Bafana legend Andre Arendse. Ndlovu is one of the players who did well for Leopards in the bio-bubble and awarded with a Man-of-the-Match award against SuperSport. “I want to retain my place as the first-choice keeper and play at least 70% of the matches,” he said.

Leopards reported for pre-season training camp last week and welcomed new Belgian coach Patrick Aussems this week. “The new coach met us and said he does not want to see the ball in the air. No more helicopter football, Leopards will play carpet football next season. Watch this space,” added Ndlovu. 

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