BY FORTUNE MBELE
CHICKEN Inn head coach Joey Antipas has tipped Warriors’ defender Teenage Hadebe to move to bigger European leagues soon following his brilliant season performance for Turkish topflight side Yeni Malatyaspor.
Yeni Malatyaspor only survived relegation courtesy of a boardroom decision, but Hadebe’s stock continues to rise as he was named amongst the league’s 11 best players for the 2019-2020 season.
He is the only Malatyaspor player among the pick of the crop.
Antipas yesterday said Hadebe was an intelligent defender who would go places.
Antipas wants the former Kaizer Chiefs defender to remain grounded and continue working hard.
“He (Hadebe) has a bright future ahead of him and if he can just stay calm and focused, bigger leagues are his destination,” Antipas said.
The Chicken Inn gaffer, who also coached Hadebe at the senior national team, heaped praises on the defender, who turns 25 next month.
“Teenage is a masterclass of a defender. His height, strength and reading of the game makes him such an imposing player. He is one player who will give you his all and is reliable. When the chips are down you can count on him,” Antipas said.
Antipas brought Hadebe to Chicken Inn from Highlanders in 2016 after winning the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title, but the defender missed out on the Caf Champions League preliminaries against South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns due to a knee injury.
Hadebe was to play a few games under Antipas before the gaffer joined South African side AmaZulu in 2016.
When Antipas bounced back at Chicken Inn in 2018, Hadebe had already been snatched by Kaizer Chiefs the previous year and the two re-united at the Warriors.
Hadebe then moved to Turkey’s Malatyaspor in July last year and has been a regular for the side, making 23 league and four cup appearances in the 2019-2020 season.
His stay at Malatyaspor has been under debate as giants Trabzonspor and Besiktas have expressed interest in him, with some reports linking him to the English Premier League.
His local agent Gibson Mahachi is on record saying a possible move to England or France was on the cards for Hadebe who still has a running contract with Malatyaspor.