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Ndaba: The Aim is to Play as Much as I Can
Thursday, 28th Jan 2021 10:01

Blues centre-half Corrie Ndaba says a vote of approval from room-mate Aaron Drinan made up his mind on his loan move to Scottish Championship side Ayr United.

Ndaba joined the Honest Men earlier this month and finally made his debut in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Dunfermline, previous scheduled games having been postponed.

The 21-year-old, who came close to moving to Somerset Park a year ago, says he asked Drinan about his spell with Ayr during the season half of last season, in which the striker scored twice in nine starts, before making his move north of the border.

“Aaron was a big part of me coming here, there’s no doubt about that,” the Irish U21 call-up told the Ayrshire Post. “ I room with him at Ipswich so have heard nothing but good things about the club.

“He came up here and did really well and I understand he was a bit of a fans’ favourite. He told me I’d be well looked after and would be able to progress, so I jumped at the chance. The aim is to come here and play as much as I can.”

Ndaba, who is contracted to the Blues until the summer of 2022 with Town having an option for a further season, spent time training with Ayr last January but his move fell through at the last due to FIFA’s three-club rule having already been on loan with Chelmsford and Hemel Hempstead earlier in the campaign.

“I’ve been very impressed by the ambition of the manager here and what he’s had to say to me since I arrived at Ayr,” the Dubliner added.

“Obviously I knew the set-up of the club from when I was up last year and it made me comfortable coming back.

“It was unfortunate the way things worked out back then. The rules meant I couldn’t join another club that season and we had to call the deal off.

“But when Ayr came back in for me, it wasn’t something I had to think hard about. The manager made it clear how much he wanted me in and that’s obviously a nice feeling.”

Reflecting on life as a footballer during the pandemic, he said: “It is really strange coming into training and not having the usual environment of the dressing room or whatever. But we just have to get on with it and be glad that we’re still getting to play.

“I’m staying in the flat and trying to remain as active as I can. I’ve got my weights and my resistance bands so that I can keep on top of things. And I’m enjoying going for walks along the beach. All in all it could be a lot worse.”

He says Ayr is a close-knit club: “I think that’s the one thing that’s struck me about the place – the togetherness of the squad and everyone here.

“It’s the first thing you look for when you go to a club and we definitely have it here.
“It’s a great bunch of boys and the atmosphere at training is always really good.”

Ndaba, who has made one Carabao Cup sub appearance and three Papa John’s Trophy starts for the Blues, is aiming to nail down a regular starting place while in Scotland, having played at left-back against Dunfermline at the weekend.

“I’m looking forward to getting a run of games and establishing myself in the team,” he said. “I’m versatile and can play at centre-half, left back or even in midfield if needed.

“Hopefully the fans will see I’m someone who’s aggressive and likes to go and win his challenges. And I’m just looking forward to helping push us up the table.”

Ayr manager Mark Kerr, who came close to joining Town in 2001 when a young player with Falkirk, believes Ndaba has made progress over the last year.

“Everyone knows we had Corrie up here last year and were all set to sign him,” he said. “But you can already see the difference in him in that space of time. He’s really come on and is a far more mature presence. He’s fitted in well and will be a big player for us going forward.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 10:05 - Jan 28
Says a lot that a club like Ayr see something in him, but we don't play him. We have monkeys running the show. Lambert out!

aas1010 added 10:24 - Jan 28
Lambert out !

Suffolkboy added 10:53 - Jan 28
The likelihood of more consistent play and appearances must be very attractive and an eminently sensible choice for a budding professional footballer This loan is therefore an excellent option for al parties involved; good luck CN .
PS come back a wiser better player and enjoy !

SamWhiteUK added 11:23 - Jan 28
Tractor_Boy_in_HK, what do you mean, a "club like Ayr"? They're in the second tier of Scottish football.... even the Scottish Premiership is hardly the pinnacle of world football....

DifferentGravy added 11:36 - Jan 28
Good for him though. Going up to Scotland this time of year......lower division...pandemic........its hardly enticing. Would have been easier to stay put and accept the creature comforts.

Good luck Corrie, hope you improve as a player

timkatieadamitfc added 11:44 - Jan 28
Won’t make any difference as long as captain calamity is here he won’t play anyway( as soon as KVY is fit he’ll automatically go to CB)
This is a dig at Lambert not Chambers, it shows that Pl will always play his favourites no matter what (chambers judge ward and skuse when fit) and no matter how bad they’ve played or little they’ve contributed on a weekly basis
My opinion is players like ndaba, baggott and cotter can do no worse than the current shower as we are losing week after week pretty much, so should be given a chance because keep doing the SAME thing and expecting a different result is not going to happen

Cheshire_Blue added 11:46 - Jan 28
Even a story like this attracts a few knockers to have a go. How sad.

blues1 added 12:34 - Jan 28
So a young player, who is either not yet ready for regular 1st team football here, or at least is 6th or 7th choice at cb, goes out on loan to get more regular football under his belt, and hopefully come back a better player, and still people come on here and criticise. Pathetic.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 13:38 - Jan 28
Its not pathetic. Its a reflection of the mood blues1. You may be able to feel happy at the current situation at the club, and I envy you that. Most of us however don't. It depends whether you live in the real world or not.

Linkboy13 added 14:11 - Jan 28
Has anyone noticed that players who go out on loan tend not to get injured strange that.

DifferentGravy added 14:13 - Jan 28
Ha! Thats a really good point Linkboy13......never gave it a thought.....but very true!

pegasus added 14:14 - Jan 28
What he has to say is interesting. Saw Drinan for Ayr games on TV a couple of times. Good pace, skill and thinking - on and off the ball. Yes. He was popular at Ayr. Then, the comments about keeping fit and being a member of a team during the pandemic. Different for these guys from those who can work at home on a laptop.

Linkboy13 added 15:18 - Jan 28
Differentgravy Must be that Scottish sea Ayr ?

timkatieadamitfc added 15:51 - Jan 28
Great post Jimmy-summed up perfectly- I would say the majority of fans would agree with you, but some unbelievably think otherwise, they think that lamberts doing an ok job and everything’s rosy and will be ok, if things don’t somehow change it won’t be ok. I’ve seen posters on here saying we will be relegated and are serious about it, I’ve always thought that that was a bit strong and thought no chance- now I’m not so sure as we are now losing to bottom team and just do not look capable of winning a game at the minute- scary

WhoisJimmyJuan added 17:41 - Jan 28
Agreed Tomkatieadam. Being frustrated and upset at the clubs demise does not necessarily make you being negative. Indeed I see wanting the best for your club as more of a positive thing.

DifferentGravy added 17:55 - Jan 28
Ha! Nice one Linkboy13. I sat here for a couple of minutes trying to think of summink.............tumbleweed

johnwarksshorts added 18:23 - Jan 28
Good luck Corrie. You will come back stronger and better.

SnowyBlue added 03:09 - Jan 29
I can see him playing next season as the LCB in a back 3 with Nsiala CB and Wolfendon as the RCB.
Baggott on the bench.

shakytown added 07:55 - Jan 29
Snowyblue Nsiala as a centre back you must be joking. Hope we have a keeper by then who is amazing at saving penalties.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 03:09 - Jan 30
@SamWhiteUK I was actually joking - taking the piss out of what inevitably appears whenever any of our promising younger players go out on loan :)

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