DURBAN – The fairy-tale of Maritzburg United’s young defender Rushine de Reuck has been a story of perspiration and inspiration.
The 22-year-old from Kleinfontein in Cape Town will play in his debut final in top flight football in front of his family and community when the Team of Choice faces Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup final at the Cape Town Stadium tomorrow night (kick-off 7pm).
In 2014 De Reuck was compelled to leave school in Grade 11 and pursue his dream of playing in Europe. But his tenure in Europe was cut short because of homesickness.
“I didn’t finish matric because I decided to go to Europe in 2014. Football was the only thing I wanted to do. I have Grade 11. In Europe I played for Pacos de Ferreira in Portugal. They spotted me while I was playing in the Bayhill Cup. I was part of the dream team.”
“They choose the dream team that goes overseas after the tournament. I was with FC Porto for three months and then I went to Pacos de Ferreira. I wasn’t mature enough. I was a young boy and missed home and I decided to come back,” De Reuck said.
De Reuck was signed by Maritzburg as a free agent at the start of the season.
“Before I came here I wasn’t playing at all. I took a gap year from football. I trained with Milano United (Vodacom League). Then I came here last season in April on trial. I clearly impressed and as they say, the rest is history,” De Reuck explained.
He has made 16 appearances in all competitions this season.
“I want to inspire kids from my area. We are role models to them. I have a younger brother (Redian) who plays for Mutual Academy. He is really excited. This is one of the main reasons I’m doing what I’m doing. I want to inspire him. I want to show kids that anything is possible if you work hard.”
What a story it will be for De Reuck to lift the trophy in front of his mother and siblings.
“It is an amazing feeling. This is my first season in top flight football and to be playing my first final in Cape Town in front of my family is really amazing. We’ve achieved a lot throughout the season. This goes to show how much you can achieve if you work hard,” De Reuck said.
The Team of Choice aim to become the first KwaZulu-Natal club to lift the Nedbank Cup since its inception in 1971.
“My family is coming. I come from the ghetto. People in my community can only dream of situations like this. I’m really proud of myself and I’m sure they're also proud. I have no doubt that they will come in their numbers.”