JOHANNESBURG – Despite the overwhelming pressure to deliver in the PSL due to the sterling status of his countrymen, New Zealander Andre de Jong is determined to run his own race.
Following impressive exploits for Eastern Suburbs in the New Zealand Premiership last season, De Jong made his way to the PSL to join AmaZulu for the 2019/20 term. He joins a list of Kiwis that have spent memorable spells in the elite league of South African football.
During the 2015/16 season, SuperSport United made the headlines for signing New Zealand duo Michael Boxall and Jeremy Brockie. It was, however, the latter that made the headlines in the Premiership - inspiring SuperSport to the CAF Confederations Cup final in 2017. Brockie joined crosstown rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in January last year but he’s been battling to replicate that mesmeric form from SuperSport. De Jong, however, is drawing inspiration from the Kiwis that had made their mark in the PSL.
“Obviously it will take a bit of time (to adjust). But the boys and the coaching staff have been really doing well in settling me in,” de Jong said. “I’ll try to contribute to the team by scoring goals. And I am hoping that the form of scoring goals back in New Zealand, I can bring it over to South Africa. I also want to contribute in assisting and defending.
The Kiwis who have come here have done well in the past, and I’d love to emulate that but I’ll see how it goes and hopefully I can have a (positive) effect on the club.”