JOHANNESBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns’ defender Rushine De Reuck says his personal qualities as a player made it easy for himself to seamlessly adapt to the team’s philosophy after joining the league champions from Maritzburg United early this year.
Since his arrival at Chloorkop, De Reuck has fitted like a glove in the Brazilians’ heart of defence. His exploits saw him being presented with the Player of the Month car for March by the club’s vehicle sponsor Hyundai at Mamelodi Mall, Pretoria, on Friday.
“I feel like the relationship I’ve built with my teammates has made it easy for me to settle in. They welcomed me very well. But obviously with the kind of player that I am, it has made it easy for me to adapt at the club,” De Reuck said.
“But obviously with the games that we’ve played, after every two to four days, that has also made things easy for me. But either than that, with the philosophy, I bought into it and I know what they (the coaches) want and that has made things easy for me.”
Despite only arriving at the club in January, De Reuck is on the verge of being a league champion at the end of the season. The Brazilians are at the summit of the Premiership standings with 54 points, four ahead of AmaZulu who have played one game more.
“I am very excited with the fact that I could win the league championship with the team in just my first five months at the club,” De Reuck said. “But still, I want to contribute to the success of the team because that’s what I came here to do in the first place.”
Sundowns will clash with TS Galaxy on Sunday at the Mbombela Stadium, hoping to stretch their lead at the top to seven points heading to the close of the season later this month. But De Reuck knows that the clash against The Rockets won’t be easy.
“With Owen Da Gama their coach, we know that they are always an ambitious team. They are a team that always wants to do well,” he said. “We know that it won’t be a walkover. But if we apply ourselves and do well, we can get the three points.”
De Reuck and Co. will know that three points from this encounter will not come in handy only in their title aspirations, but in their continental campaign as well. After the trip to Nelspruit, they’ll visit Al Ahly in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League,
Sundowns' clash with Al Ahly has a huge billing as the latter are coached by Pitso Mosimane, the man who delivered 11 titles at Tshwane-based side, including the Champions League, before taking up the plum role at the African club of the Century in Egypt.
De Reuck, a first-timer in continental football, said ahead of the encounter: “It’s an exciting fixture. That’s something that everyone wants to be part of, including me. Going to Egypt won’t be easy for us, but I believe in the team that we have.”