RUSHINE WANTS TO HELP UNITED FINISH WITH A BANG
1 June 2020
Maritzburg United defender Rushine de Reuck can’t wait to get back on the field and has ambitions of helping the Team of Choice qualify for African competition.
It’s now almost three months since Maritzburg’s most recent match; a 1-0 home win over Polokwane City on March 6.
“We really do miss playing,” de Reuck admitted. “Training by yourself is hard. Waking up in the morning, you need a lot of self-motivation, we’re so used to training in groups. I can’t wait for the league to start.”
Before the coronavirus brought a halt to the action, the Team of Choice had been flying high and had moved up to fifth place on the table. De Reuck believes that a top three finish is possible.
“We have targets as Maritzburg right now,” he explained. “I think we’re five or six points behind our best finish in the league – when we got to 45 points, so there’s targets to achieve and we want to fight for a CAF place as well.
“At the beginning of the season it was to get into the top eight, but now it’s different - to play in Africa will be very good for Maritzburg because they’ve never done that. And we’re not far off that. That’s the goal and the next step for us.
“I want to be part of that, I’ve been to two cup finals and haven’t won yet, but I want to continue making history with this club. It’s a club I fell in love with, it’s a club that gave me opportunity when no-one believed in me.”
As is often the case when a player is performing well - as Rushine has for the past year - transfer speculation begins to set in. But despite all the talk, the 24-year-old remains steadfast in his commitment to Maritzburg.
“I’m just focused on Maritzburg, on Maritzburg doing well; that’s the most important thing,” he said. “I don’t think every day what people are saying about me. I’m happy with my progress and what I have achieved for Maritzburg this season.
“It’s important for me to continue with that and to work hard and not to worry what people say – it can have a positive and a negative effect, because everyone has their own opinions. It’s just about keeping my coach happy, doing well for Maritzburg and helping the club grow.”
For the team to grow collectively, players also need to develop individually, and Rushine feels he’s doing just that in Pietermaritzburg.
“Coach Eric [Tinkler] has helped me a lot,” he said. “He told me the talent is there, but that I need to work harder. And that’s what I’ve done, I’ve studied the game more and now this season I’ve hardly had any bookings, I’ve bettered my positional play, the way I read the game, the way I see things, studying players…I know what to do in certain areas.
“I know my strengths, I’m not scared to go 1-v-1. I’m good in the air, when the ball is coming for a cross….things like that, the coach has helped me a lot in terms of possession play, what I must do when I have the ball.”
While Rushine is happy at Maritzburg, he does admit to harbouring ambitions of playing overseas one day again, having had a brief spell previously in Portugal as a youngster.
“With Paulo Fonseca [former FC Pacos de Ferreira coach] – I learnt a lot – tactical awareness, being in certain areas, spaces between defenders and strikers,” Rushine said of his time in Europe.
“Players are very technically gifted, that opened my eyes as well that I need to add elements to my game. I need to play from the back, which I also learnt at [former academy team) ASD - to be a modern day footballer- and that has helped me. I’ve learnt a lot from all my coaches,” he added.
For now though the focus is at the Team of Choice, and Rushine feels there is a sense of unity and camaraderie in the current team which can take them far:
“This season I feel like we are more a collective. We have individual players who do well but we play for each other…we’re working towards the same goal, we’re just a solid unit, the way the coach sets us up. And that has really helped us, everyone is focused, pulling in the same direction and working hard for the team.”
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