Hendrick Ekstein is on his way to Sabah in the Azerbaijan league. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

DURBAN – Indecision by South African teams has forced Hendrick Ekstein’s agent, Palesa Mkhize, to accept offers from overseas clubs.

This week Mkhize opened up about why they opted against a local move, confirming that Ekstein has joined Sabah FK in the Azerbaijan league.

In an unexpected move, Ekstein left South African powerhouse Kaizer Chiefs towards the conclusion of the 2018/2019 season. His departure astonished Amakhosi fans as he appeared to have been a shining light in a team that had a woeful season.

Shortly after cutting ties with Amakhosi rumours were rife that he was on his way to Amakhosi’s sworn enemies Orlando Pirates. That talk died down after the Buccaneers agreed a deal for the services of Siphesihle Ndlovu from Maritzburg United. They also added Kabelo Dlamini from Bloemfontein Celtic.

In an interview with the Independent Media last month, Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza made it clear that they were not after Ekstein.

Mkhize explained why Ekstein chose to move abroad instead of a local move this week.

Hendrick Ekstein has left Kaizer Chiefs to join Sabah FK in Azerbaijan, a move that will help him broaden his horizons, not just on the pitch, but off it as well. Photo: Muzi Ntombela / 
 BackpagePix
Hendrick Ekstein has left Kaizer Chiefs to join Sabah FK in Azerbaijan, a move that will help him broaden his horizons, not just on the pitch, but off it as well. Photo: Muzi Ntombela / BackpagePix

“We had offers in South Africa but teams took time to get back to us.

“Overseas people kept on pushing and pushing and the deal was concluded. We said why not? Let us just try it out. It will be a new environment, new beginning for the player. It is going to be a great experience for Ekstein. God works in mysterious ways,“ Mkhize elaborated.

Cape Town City had also been keeping a close eye on Ekstein. He was seen by many as a suitable replacement for the retired Teko Modise.

“It is a good move for Ekstein. I never saw it coming. He is in a great environment. He will meet new players, new cultures of football instead of the local one. We will see how he adapts and we can judge him as a player because here (in South Africa) he only played for one team.

He grew up at Chiefs. Going overseas will give him a chance to weigh his options. He will know if he is good enough or not because he has only played for one team. People were on top of him saying he never performed well. They’re talking about the statistics and all that. We will see how he does,” he added.

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Ekstein was promoted to the senior team in Naturena in 2014.

“I must say, it was a better offer if you look at the salary he earned there (at Chiefs). It is way better than what was offered (at Chiefs) and it is in a different environment as well,” Mkhize explained.

@Minenhlecr7

 

The Mercury

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