By Fungai Muderere
Following his five-star performance for his Turkish Süper Lig side Yen Malatyaspor when they beat Istanbul Basak 3-0 last Sunday, lonely Warriors defender, Teenage Hadebe, was named among the best 11 performers in the opening fixtures of the league.
The towering former Bantu Rovers, Highlanders and Chicken Inn defender played for 90 minutes and he reportedly capped his breathtaking performance with a last minute assist for his club’s third goal that was scored by Cote D’Ivoire’s Moryke Fofana.
Fofana also made it into the Turkish team of the week together with Alanyaspor goalkeeper Jose Marafona, Guinean-Turkish right back Nazim Sangare and Turkish international Nabil Dibar among other players.
“I am happy that in my debut league match, I performed well for the club where I even went to an extent of providing a goal assist. Making it into the Turkish team of the week has also boosted my confidence . . . Inkosi ivumile,” said Hadebe in an interview from his base in Malatya, Turkey.
“I’m still adjusting to the demands of a new challenge. It always feels good to play in a more professional setup. It’s a great team,” added Hadebe who is yet to be joined by his family in Turkey.
“My family is still in Zimbabwe and I hope they will be able to join me soon. Sometimes I tend to feel lonely because of the language barrier. To make things easy for me, I move around with a translator,” said the Zimbabwean footie star.
While it’s still early days yet, the Makokoba-bred footballer seems to have already scored big as he has already played against the likes of former Chelsea striker Demba Ba, ex-Arsenal left back Gael Clichy and celebrated Brazilian footballer Robinho.
The trio was in the Istanbul Basak line-up.
As if that is not enough, a few days after completing his move to Turkey from South African side Kaizer Chiefs, Hadebe was already in Malatyaspor’s starting line-up for their Uefa Europa League second round qualifier against Slovenian side Olimpija NK in late July, but he missed the return leg a fortnight ago after picking an ankle injury.
Days later he was an unused substitute when his side lost 3-1 to Serbian side Partizan Belgrade in the first leg encounter of the competition’s third qualifying round.
On Sunday, Yen Malatyaspor will continue with their Eufa Europa League campaign and they will take on Trabsonsqor.
Hadebe’s move to Turkey came as a big surprise as there had been speculation in the South African media that he was one of the players to be offloaded by Kaizer Chiefs as they had exhausted their foreign quota.
He is a product of Bantu Rovers, the brainchild of Methembe Ndlovu, whose academy merged with former Zifa Southern Region Division One side Zim Leopards in April to establish Bantu Leopards, whose main objective is to identify, nurture and develop talented young players. B-Metro