JOHANNESBURG – Pitso Mosimane says he has full confidence in striker Jeremy Brockie to be Mamelodi Sundowns’ focal point in attack this season.
The coach has previously come under a little bit of criticism for hyping up the forward’s arrival at Chloorkop in January only to use him sparingly.
And as things stand, Brockie is yet to score for Sundowns in an official game, but is expected to play a big role now seeing that both Khama Billiat and Percy Tau have since moved on.
“He’s getting there and I am happy with him,” Mosimane said following the Absa Premiership defending champions’ 1-1 draw at home against Kazier Chiefs on Saturday in what was a league opener for both sides.
“Jeremy is a different kind of player - obviously he is not Percy or Khama. We need to play to his strengths and that is what we are doing. He is good and he is waiting for the chance.
“He probably could have scored with the ball that hit the crossbar, but he gives us a good outlet, brings the team out. I think he is going to come good.”
Mosimane had been a long-time admirer of Brockie from the day the New Zealander joined SuperSport United in January 2015.
There he scored 41 goals in 104 matches, earning the nickname ‘sniper’ from Mosimane as the coach’s interest in him intensified.
Brockie’s performance in last season’s CAF Confederations Cup, where SuperSport reached the final and lost narrowly to TP Mazembe as the player top scored with 10 goals, convinced Mosimane to trigger the players’ release clause, which was believed to have been around R15-million as he had just committed to the club for two more years.
But Brockie has not managed to get a goal in the 14 games he has played for Sundowns, with the exception of a pre-season friendly.
“I thought he played very well against Chiefs and I am happy with his progression. I think we obviously need to leave him a bit longer on the pitch to give him a chance to score,” the coach explained. “But I think he also played well against the Togolese team (in the CAF Champions League group stage match two weekends ago).
“He had a chance to score and the goalkeeper blocked the ball. So far so good.”
Brockie will still have competition up front though even with the departure of Billiat, who joined Chiefs, and Tau, who signed for Brighton and Hove Albion in England. Sundowns have signed Venezuelan striker Ali Meza and last Thursday made Maritzburg United an offer he could not refuse to lure Lebogang Maboe away from the Midlands club.
Brockie needs a goal soon to keep his place in this star-studded team.