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.
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
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 278 bloggers
Demolition Man by tractorboykent
Paul Cook isn’t a man to mince words. Even though we are all sick of the continuing spiral of underachievement at Town, it was nevertheless still a bit of a shock to hear him lay into the 18 that capitulated to Wimbledon in what he described before kick-off as a season defining match.
Here We Go by tractorboykent
For a club recently described as Britain’s unhappiest, it may seem odd that Town fans are suddenly awash with optimism now that the deal is done.
One of the Strongest Squads? by NormEmerges
I keep hearing that ITFC has one of the strongest squads in League One. It’s certainly true that we have one of the biggest squads, but strongest? I would assume ‘strongest’ to mean ‘includes higher quality players for this league’. What do the facts tell us?
Tractor Boy on a Mission by wadey
As some of you may be aware, we lost our little boy Tyler on 1st April 2012, aged just 15 months old. There was no cause declared and he just passed away in his sleep. Since then, I’ve tried to raise as much money for charity in memory of him.
Damned Lies and Football Statistics? by bluesman
Football is possibly the most observed sport of all time, and there is plenty of statistical information available in the public domain to make some informed observations about clubs and managers, and their performance over the years.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]