Dino Ndlovu - Fact File

SuperSport's Ndlovu Looking To Get Back To His Best

Its been nearly three years since Dino Ndlovu made a shock move to Israel after leaving Mamelodi Sundowns, but since then he`s come on in leaps and bounds, securing a big money move to Israel giants, Maccabi Haifa, as well as a Bafana Bafana call-up. However, after finishing last season as South Africa`s top goal scorer abroad, a stress fracture put his career on hold and he slipped down Haifa`s pecking order. After an unfortunate bout of racial abuse in Israel, Ndlovu is now playing for SuperSport and plans to get back to his best.

Personal Information
Full names: Dino Ndlovu
Date of birth: 15 February 1990
Place of birth: Klerksdorp, North West

Jersey no: 19
Position: Striker

Club: SuperSport United
Previous Clubs:
Platinum Stars academy
Bloemfontein Celtic
Mamelodi Sundowns
Bnei Yehuda and Maccabi Haifa (Israel)
U20 14 League caps
U23 15 caps
Israeli Ligat ha`al runner-up 2012/13

Hola Gatsheni, we heard about the tough time you were having in Israel with the lack of game time. Was the racial abuse you suffered the last straw?
I was really patient with the incidents that happened with the fans in Israel, but after the incident at training I decided that I had to put my foot down and move on with life. I had one or two options to go to Europe, but it was difficult because of the money that Maccabi were asking for me.

What was it that actually happened?
To be honest, I don`t want to talk about it. It`s all in the past now. If you want to talk then it`s only about SuperSport United because I`m going forward with my life and career, so I don`t want to dwell on the past.

We know it is probably a touchy subject for you, but we need to ask, it must have been tough suffering racial abuse in Israel. Was it ever anything you were prepared for?
To tell you the truth, I never expected to be racially abused there, but I think that I overstayed my welcome. I have good memories there though, and I`m really happy to have worn the green jersey. The time I spent there was good for me.

So you don`t regret your time there at all?
My ambition when I joined Maccabi was to use them as a bridge. You have to walk that bridge and reach the other side. When I was close to crossing the bridge, a bomb appeared under the bridge and it went boom. It wasn`t something I expected. It came as a surprise, but as a footballer we have to expect the unexpected.

So you thought a return to South Africa might help?
I sat down with my agent and he said that he thought it would be good for me to come back home, be close to my family and girlfriend and regain my confidence. Then, once I have my confidence back maybe go back overseas. I was itching to move to Europe, but it was just too difficult to make it happen because of my club in Israel.

It is a pity, but Maccabi`s loss was SuperSport United’s gain. Why did you choose them?
I spoke with SSU CEO Stan Mathews a couple of times and we had a good chat.  He was very open about things. He told me that the coach, who I have worked with before, liked me and that I wouldn`t have any problems gelling with the rest of the team. I saw it as a good move for me, not just personally, but professionally as well. I joined SuperSport because of the ambition at the club. I haven`t come for the long haul but if things work out and I can stay for one more year, then I will do so. I`m not in a rush, I just want to get my confidence back and leave the past behind me.

When you joined Maccabi Haifa back in 2012 for about R15 million, some fans were shocked. Were you?
When I joined Bnei Yehuda, I told a journalist that signing for a European team was not a fluke, it was on merit. I had to prove my ability to everyone, and even to myself. Yehuda gave me the confidence to become better. It was like a puzzle and everything then started to fall into place. Good players make big transfers, and everyone was shocked but me. I worked hard to earn that big move to Maccabi Haifa.

You broke into the Bafana Bafana set up last year.
Hopefully I will get another chance with Bafana, but that`s a bit further down the line. For now I just want to get some games and goals under my belt. If things start going well and I get a call-up then that will be a bonus. For now, I`m just focusing on scoring goals for SuperSport.

Do you think your spell overseas has helped you develop as a player?
The two years that I played in South Africa was when I was young, inexperienced and immature. I went overseas and played many games, got quite a few goals and I think that I have improved greatly. After a year with Bnei Yehuda, Maccabi Haifa wanted to sign me. I sat down and asked myself what I was doing right and what I hadn`t been doing right before, and I came to my own conclusions about that. Now I play at SuperSport United. It`s a new me now.

Thanks Dino and good luck.
Thank you