JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs' exciting young midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo has been dealt a harsh blow after being ruled out for six months with injury - which means he will miss the Under-20 World Cup.
Ngcobo was injured against SuperSport United in the 1-1 draw last Friday night, and on Wednesday the club confirmed that his prognosis is not good at all.
"Ngcobo will be out for six months due to an Achilles Tendon injury, we wish him a speedy recovery and stand behind him," Chiefs stated on Twitter.
The 19-year-old will now miss out on being part of the national Under-20 side which will do duty in the World Cup which takes place in Poland from May 23 this year.
Ngcobo, who made his first-team debut for Chiefs against hometown club Maritzburg United earlier this month, was a key member of the Amajita team which finished third at the junior Africa Cup of Nations in Niger to qualify for the World Cup
After more than three trophy-less seasons, one plus-point for frustrated Amakhosi fans has been the club's willingness to promote young talent from within their own ranks as they look to build for the future.
In a league in which the big guns have more often than not built their teams by poaching players from the 'smaller' and poorer clubs; offering players major salary increases, Chiefs' recent policy should be applauded.
Just prior to Ngcobo bursting onto the scene, it had been another development product, Happy Mashiane, a left-sided wide player, who had been setting tongues wagging with some promising performances over the past few months.
Left-back Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya has meanwhile featured in 15 league matches this term, central defender Siyabonga Ngezana has played 27 league games over the past two seasons, and goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma has done well enough to earn himself a spot in the latest Bafana Bafana squad.
Amakhosi head coach Ernst Middendorp spoke enthusiastically just last week about Ngcobo's potential, and also praised the efforts being made in the club's academy.
"It's the fantastic work at the academy‚ under the leadership of [Chiefs U-19 coach] Sundra Govinder. They come from there – Happy Mashiane comes from there.
"I only take the risk‚ I have the balls to bring them into the game – [already] prepared. They are prepared by these guys in the academy. And they are fantastic guys."
Another exciting prospect, Wiseman Meyiwa, tragically had to cut short his career prematurely after he had been injured in a motor vehicle accident.
African News Agency (ANA)