After fully featuring for Milano United last campaign in the National First Division (NFD), life at Arrows for Naicker seems to have taken a patchy-rough side thus far.
The 26-year-old has only managed six bench appearances. Nkosingiphile Gumede has been the shot-stopper given the first nod by coach Clinton Larsen whereas Namibian international Maximilian Mbaeva has been the preferred fiddle to Gumede.
However, Naicker remains optimistic that his time to call the shots between the sticks will come at some point.
“It’s been a good year so far, I’ve enjoyed myself. They’ve welcomed me and there’s open competition,’’ Naicker said.
“Obviously,I want to break into the first team and wear the number one jersey but that will only happen due to misfortunes (like an injury) or with Gumede not doing well and at the moment he’s at the top of his game, he’s having a great season.
“Here at the goal-keeping department you have to be patient; when other goal-keepers are doing well you just have to sit and wait for your time.’’
Naicker’s tenure with United, who are now defunct after selling their National First Division (NFD) status to newly emerged Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhadila in the current season, was bitter-sweet.
He managed to play all competitive matches for the Kinnes but was just a spot away from being relegated to the third tier division.
The Chatsworth-born goal-minder is no newcomer to relegation woes; two years ago, in his first competitive season in top-flight football he was relegated with Jomo Cosmos.
Although Naicker was sent packing with Cosmos, he pulled off a couple of top saves in attempting to keep the team in the league but it was not to be.
With both sides – Madzivhadila and Cosmos – now in contention for a PSL status, Naicker still believes he made a good choice by joining Abafana Bes’thende.
“During my time at Ezenkosi, I enjoyed myself. But I thought it was time for a change and I decided to change my scenario (go to United) and I am glad to be in this team now,’’ Naicker said.
Arrows is a very professional team – players are supported here, and there’s an opportunity for a player to grow, I am happy.’’
Naicker might not have been a regular feature in the first team plans but he’s used that as an incentive to guide the reserve team to a top of the log finish yet again this season.
“As soon as I got to the squad, they told me that they want to win the league and that was the mandate from everyone at the club so far we are on track.”
A win for Naicker and company next Sunday against Orlando Pirates will ensure that they are crowned this season’s reserve team champions.