Nyondo’s aiming to outshine his friend and compatriot

2011-10-22 19:18

SuperSport United hotshot Atusaye Nyondo wants to recreate the magic of Malawian strikers in the Absa Premiership.

The 21-year-old from Lilongwe is tied on five goals with Mamelodi Sundowns marksman Katlego Mphela in the league’s top scorers’ charts.

Nyondo’s goal-scoring exploits often remind local soccer fans of his compatriot Esau Kanyenda, who is still rated as one of the top Malawian imports to have graced the Premiership.
Kanyenda, a former Jomo Cosmos striker now plying his trade in Russia for FC Dynamo Bryansks, scored 26 goals in 46 matches for Ezenkosi between 2001 and 2002.

“Kanyenda is my friend and striking partner for Malawi, but I want to do better than him in the PSL,” said Nyondo.

Signed from Carara Kicks at the beginning of this season, Nyondo has seemingly not lost the touch that saw him finish as the National First Division Coastal Stream top scorer, with 16 goals in all competitions last season.

“Scoring comes naturally to me, but I make sure I score as many goals as I can at training so that it becomes a habit even when I’m playing in an official match,” he said.

He was speaking during an interview at his club’s training base at the University of Pretoria’s Groenkloof campus this week.

With a fit Sibusiso Zuma by his side, Nyondo believes the three-time league champions will be unstoppable in attack.

Nyondo scored on debut in United’s 2-1 win over Golden Arrows on August 17, and his consistency saw him being voted the first Premiership Player of the Month this season.

As for his chances of clinching the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot award, the budding marksman said: “I’ll try and score as many goals as I can.”

But Nyondo has not translated his form to the national team, where he has scored only once in his four appearances at the just-ended Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

United coach Gavin Hunt said he had kept track of Nyondo at Carara.

It was the player’s “hunger in front of goal” that prompted him to sign the youngster “right away” – for free.

Said Hunt: “Losing Zuma during the pre-season was a big blow, but Nyondo has proved he’s an important player too. “He’s young and has the right attitude to go far,” he said.

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