Orlando Pirates players. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU
Orlando Pirates players. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Orlando Pirates’ new signing Nkanyiso Zungu has admitted he was shocked when the Soweto giants swooped for his signature on the final day of the transfer window.

Central midfielder Zungu, described by his former coach‚ Jomo Sono‚ as the “best passer of the ball in the country”, was a surprise addition by the Buccaneers from Stellenbosch.

The 24-year-old former AmaZulu and Jomo Cosmos midfielder is yet to train with his new team as he has a groin injury.

“Initially I was shocked‚ because it came so unexpectedly as the window was about to close — and the magnitude of the club that was interested in my services‚” Zungu said.

“Playing for Pirates has been a childhood dream of mine, so you can imagine what went through my mind when the call came. But joining is only the start. I need to work hard to make this opportunity count.

“The interesting thing is that I come from a family of staunch Kaizer Chiefs supporters. But as soon as I was old enough to make my own decisions‚ I went against the grain and chose the black and white of Pirates. I think I was mainly attracted to their style of play.”

Zungu admitted arriving so suddenly at a big club was intimidating.

“My first day was a daunting experience‚ sort of like your first day at school — new people‚ new environment‚” he said.

“My situation was made even more difficult because I joined the team during midseason and not at the beginning where it’s easier to get used to each other during preseason camps and stuff like that.

“Mid-season‚ guys have already formed bonds. But I was welcomed with open arms. Everybody is friendly here‚ they are really the ‘Happy People’ and I am honoured to be part of it.

“I wish I could be training already, but unfortunately I came in carrying a groin injury‚ so I am undergoing rehabilitation with the team’s physios. It’s a bit frustrating that I’m neither training nor playing with my teammates yet, but I love playing so I have to keep positive and focus on healing so I can get back to it.”

Pirates lost their first game in eight in the league and cup under coach Josef Zinnbauer‚ on penalties, in Sunday’s Nedbank Cup last-32 thriller against Bidvest Wits at Orlando Stadium‚ which ended 3-3 after extra time.

The Buccaneers‚ who have risen to second place in the premiership on the back of their run of form‚ meet Black Leopards at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 3.30pm).

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