BARREN RUN: Jeremy Brockie of Mamelodi Sundowns hasn't scored since September. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Jeremy Brockie intends to tick off two big items in his bucket list with Mamelodi Sundowns this year to add on the list of accomplishments he achieved with SuperSport United.

The New Zealand forward left Matsatsantsa a Pitori earlier this year after winning the MTN8, two back-to-back Nedbank Cup titles, a runners-up medal in the Caf Confederation Cup in which he finished as the tournament’s top goalscorer and was just four goals shy of eclipsing the club’s all-time goal-scoring record held by Abram Raselemane with his 57 goals.

The Kiwi achieved all of that in three years. It got to a point where he felt that he had outgrown SuperSport, which led to his move to the 2016 Caf Champions League winners.

“I would like to win the league, that’s something I have never been able to do in my career,” Brockie said. “I am now in a club that’s possible to do that, we are currently sitting at the top of the table. It’s in our hands now to go on and win the league. That’s a goal of mine, to not only win it this year but also in years to come. I want to go and play in the (Fifa) Club World Cup.

“I have spoken with a couple of the boys who were in Japan (in 2016) and they speak highly about how that competition is run and how much they enjoyed it. It’s something I want to have a taste of, and hopefully I can achieve that sooner rather than later.”

Brockie can realise that dream this year. The journey towards the dream starts tomorrow in Kigali. The Brazilians take on Rwandan side Rayon Sports at Amahoro Stadium in the first leg of the first round of the Champions League, with the return leg in Atteridgeville 11 days later.

Should Sundowns win that tie over two legs they will become the first South African team to reach the group stage of the continent’s premier competition three times in a row. But the Brazilians have to claim their second Champions League title for Brockie and company to book a ticket to the United Arab Emirates later this year to represent the continent in the Club World Cup for the second time.

“One of the reasons for me to join Sundowns was for the participation in the Champions League,” Brockie said. “This tournament is spoken about with the boys in the change room and around the club with enthusiasm. I am motivated by the success the club had a couple of years ago and even last year when they reached the semifinals. It’s an exciting project to be a part of.

“I enjoyed my time in the Caf Confederation Cup last year. I managed to score a few goals (10) and we went all the way to the final with SuperSport.
“This is definitely a step up.”

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The change in focus offers the 30-year-old a much-needed different scenery with the growing pressure to score his first goal for Sundowns. Brockie hasn’t netted in the domestic league since September last year, a poor return for a striker of his quality. 

Opening his account in the Champions League would give Brockie confidence going forward as it will come from the biggest stage in club football in the continent. Brockie and company did Rayon’s video analysis on Sunday having flown to Kigali straight after beating AmaZulu 3-1 in the league in Durban on Friday to keep their place at the summit.

“It was nice to come here nice and early to get a feel for the country and the conditions,” Brockie said. “We had a chance to watch them (on Sunday). They had a league game to catch up on their programme. Coming early has worked out quite nice for us in terms of our preparation. We got to watch them first hand to see what they are all about.”

Brockie continued, “It’s not going to be an easy game, especially playing away. Most teams are quite strong at home. They are a team that likes to keep the ball and play.

“They’ve got some key players that we have to keep quiet and hopefully by the end of the game we can score an away goal or two that we can take back to South Africa which would put us in a good position of going to the group stage.”

The Star

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