Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya believes 19-year-old winger Bill Antonio is good enough to secure a contract at Belgian side KV Mechelen where he will be assessed for the next six weeks.
Antonio arrived in Antwerp on Tuesday at the invitation of the top flight league side for trials.
Speaking to The Standard on Friday, Ndiraya, who gave Antonio his breakthrough at Dynamos this season, said:
I personally think he will make the grade. What I like about the team is that it’s not a very big team in Belgium, but it’s a team which is known for producing players and selling to teams with bigger budgets in that country and across Europe.
I think the boy can make the grade because they will look to further develop him and sell him to bigger leagues. That is their policy and thrust.
I don’t doubt his qualities and what these European teams normally buy when they get an African is the potential… the same way they did with the Peter Ndlovus and the Benjani Mwaruwaris.
Ndiraya, who spent over a month attached at KV Mechelen last year as part of the two teams’ partnership, said the club has development structures that can help the likes of Antonio. He said:
He (Antonio) needs further development. Our development systems here are different from those in Europe.
They have got better development structures so I’m confident that if he gets into those structures he can be polished and become the player that we all want him to be.
Naturally, the route would be for a player to play locally for at least one or two seasons then play for the national team and get a number of caps.
After getting all that necessary experience he can then go abroad and play there.
But I’m cognisant of the fact that there are a number of players who didn’t play much in the local league but made it abroad.
Antonio is arguably Dynamos’ best player this far, having contributed three goals and four assists in the current Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.
More: The Standard