FORMER Warriors and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Esrom Nyandoro is set to hang up his boots at the end of the current Absa Premiership season, bringing an end to a 15-year career, mostly spent with the South African club.
According to reports from South Africa yesterday, the midfielder who will turn 35 on February 6, has already made up his mind in calling time on his glittering career at the end of the season.
It is expected Nyandoro, one of Sundowns’ long serving member, will take on a role in the technical team’s set-up.
The Bulawayo born midfielder has been with the team since 2004, winning the domestic league title three times, the Nedbank Cup, MTN8 Cup and the Telkom Knockout tournament thrice.
A South African publication SoccerLaduma yesterday reported quoting a number of sources confirming Nyandoro’s imminent retirement.
“Nyandoro won’t be registered next season. The management have already explained to him, but because he has already been registered, he will finish off this season. I think it will also be good for the player because at least he will be given another chance to work with the club, even if it’s not playing,” a source within the club was quoted as saying.
According to the publication, Sundowns has long been preparing for Nyandoro’s retirement. The club brought in midfielder Asavela Mbekile at the start of the season so that he could learn from the veteran and fill in from where he leaves off.
“Although it’s not clear where he will be drafted in at the club, this season is expected to be his last as a player,” the publication added.
Nyandoro this year completes 10 years of service at Sundowns, becoming the only Zimbabwean ever to reach the proud record of completing a decade at one South African Premiership club.
The only other player to have reached the milestone was Tinashe Nengomasha who spent a strong 12 years with Kaizer Chiefs before moving to Bidvest Wits University last year.
Together with another Sundowns veteran Surprise Moriri, Nyandoro was this year honoured by the club’s president Patrice Motsepe with Long Service Awards, with each receiving R150 000.
Born February 6 1980 in Bulawayo where he grew up, the man nicknamed Yellow, learnt at Mzilikazi High School and was identified by soccer scouts whilst playing in the Peter Ndlovu invitational under 19 tournament, for Zimbabwe Saints Juniors, which was used to identify and promote talent.
As a result of this he signed with Amazulu, rising through the reserve ranks to being a member of the league championship winning squad.
Nyandoro was then signed by Mamelodi Sundowns in 2004 and was named the PSL Club Rookie of the Year after his debut season.
In the summer of 2006, Nyandoro joined up with English Premier League club Sheffield United for a trial. This was on the recommendation of Ndlovu who had played for the club. Nyandoro was however not signed.
Nyandoro was a member of the Warriors’ 2004 African Nations Cup team, who finished bottom of their group in the first round of competition, thus failing to secure qualification for the quarter-finals.
He scored a superb goal that was voted as the best goal of the tournament. He also participated at the 2006 African Nations Cup.