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Dino Ndlovu: Kocaelispor seal signing of South Africa forward from China

The 31-year-old has arrived in Turkey as a free agent after parting ways with the China League One club in April

Former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Dino Ndlovu has sealed a transfer move to Turkish First League side side Kocaelispor.

The 31-year-old was officially unveiled on Tuesday after joining as a free agent having left China League One club Zhejiang Greentown in April.

“Our brother Dino [Ndlovu] has joined us and after 11 years, we are happy to bring our second transfer signing from abroad,” Kocaelispor confirmed the arrival of the South African forward on their official website.

“He left an important mark especially in Baku and Karabakh in Europe, and our friends in Karabakh told us how great a football player Dino is.

“We believe that our club will perform better this season with the arrival of Ndlovu, and we welcome him to feel at home in Turkey.”

On signing the player, Kocaelispor assistant coach Turgay Karsli said: “I have absolute faith in our Dino [Ndlovu], he loved Kocaeli very much, and Kocaeli loved him very much.

“Our city has embraced itself and he will have a good season with us. Our city will applaud Dino for many years. He will add some significant value to our team. Turkey and the world know Dino. I wish him success. This city is loyal. We will never forget our players who have achieved success in the past.”

On his part, Ndlovu has promised to do his best and help the team achieve some of their targets for the new season.

“First of all, I would like to thank those who contributed to the transfer,” Ndlovu told the same portal.

“I want to leave a mark in this historical and strong-supported club. That’s why I came. I’m definitely not here to rest, I’m here to succeed.”

Ndlovu further revealed he had received several offers to stay in China but he opted to sign for Kocaelispor.

“Serious contract offers came, especially from China. When I got an offer from Kocaelispor, I researched the club and especially fell in love with the fans,” he continued.

“These were factors in my coming to Kocaelispor. I know Turkish football. There is a good and challenging league here. I believe when I come to my senses physically, I will be able to show all kinds of my abilities to Kocaelispor members.”

Ndlovu becomes the third player from South Africa to play in Turkey after the late John Moshoeu in Izmit, and Siphiwe Tshabalala, who had a stint with Erzurumspor.

Kocaelispor, who are based in Izmit, was founded in 1966 and played in the top flight between 1980-1988 and 1992-2003, and their best finish was in fourth position in the 1992-93 season.

Currently, they are featuring in the second level of the Turkish system and use the 34, 000-seater Kocaeli Stadium for their matches.

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