Jeremy Brockie competes in the air against TP Mazembe. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – The sight of the Absa Premiership log has given Jeremy Brockie something to smile about, helping him get over two setbacks in a space of two weeks with his club and country.

Brockie didn’t have much time to deal with the disappointment of failing to qualify for the World Cup with New Zealand as he had an appearance in the Caf Confederation Cup final to look forward to.

But that also ended in heartbreak as SuperSport United lost 2-1 to TP Mazembe after they failed to find the back of the net at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

On Sunday, Brockie spent some time with his family after a hectic schedule that saw him go through seven time zones in two weeks.

That’s when the double blow hit home. But he quickly got over it when he saw how the log looks like.

“The disappointments have been coming in thick and fast,” Brockie said. “I guess that if we start looking at positives, no one wants to really run away and take the league.

“Everyone keeps drawing with each other. It gives us hope as there is something positive to look forward to and strive to get.”

The league race has been run at a tortoise-speed.

Baroka FC, who are without a win in their last four matches, are still at the summit while Orlando Pirates went six games without a win.

But when the Buccaneers eventually got a victory, on Sunday at the expense of Bloemfontein Celtic, they shot from eighth to second.

United are seven games and nine points behind Bakgaga, and start their catch-up programme on Wednesday against Ajax Cape Town at Mbombela Stadium.

Eric Tinkler will make a number of changes to bring fresher legs by giving some players who weren’t registered for the Confederation Cup game time, while allowing those who were involved in that gruelling campaign across the continent a rest.

Dean Furman, Bradley Grobler, Clayton Daniels and Ronwen Williams, along with Brockie, went straight from the World Cup qualifiers to the Confederation Cup final.

“We were truly refreshed for the second game. I am just disappointed that I didn’t play the 90 minutes to help the boys get that one goal that we needed,” Brockie said.

Brockie and his teammates left Lucas Moripe Stadium heartbroken on Saturday night, while Mazembe were on cloud nine after retaining the trophy they won last year. 

Tinkler’s biggest challenge will be to pick up United from that disappointment and fight for the league that’s in need of a team to take control.

“It’s been a long journey,” Brockie said. “We travelled all around Africa. It’s been an amazing experience. We got very close, but not close enough to lift the trophy. It hurts.

“Mazembe are a well-structured side. They have some experienced players at the back. They didn’t give us too many opportunities or even half-chances to get a sniff at goal.

“I am disappointed that we didn’t have a little bit of composure in the final third. We could have tried to penetrate them a little bit more.

“We either let ourselves down with a poor delivery or the wrong option. We need to bounce back by climbing up the league.”

 

The Star