JOHANNESBURG - Kaizer Chiefs’ free-scoring striker Ryan Moon says he couldn’t have asked for a better and wiser older brother than Bryce, a well-travelled footballer and ex-player of the national team, Panathinaikos (Greece), Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits among others.
The two siblings, who are 10 years apart, also briefly played together at Maritzburg United before Ryan joined Chiefs a year and a half ago.
“Every input I get from him, I take it in,” said 21-year-old Ryan yesterday morning ahead of Amakhosi’s potential Absa Premiership title decider against Cape Town City tomorrow. “I look up to him in so many ways.
"He has played at the highest level, (European) Champions League, Bafana (capped 17 times), he has been there and done it. Whatever advice he gives me I take it to heart, whether it’s good or bad.”
Ryan hopes to emulate Bryce and looks well on his way there judging by his recent performances in a Chiefs jersey - scoring four goals in his last five matches for the club.
But the young forward, who also mentions veteran striker and Amakhosi teammate Bernard Parker as one of his idols, isn’t getting carried away just yet. He’s determined to carry on helping the club in its ambition to end a trophy drought that is stretching into a third season under coach Steve Komphela.
“My brother has always told me that when you come to a big team you need to keep a level head and watch your lifestyle. "It’s a flashy team, everybody wants to be your friend, take you out, so it’s important to stay grounded,” Ryan explained.
“You need to do the basics right, work hard at your game because you are still young. He has obviously been overseas and he wants me to achieve the best and wants me to also go overseas. I think it’s great to have a brother like him.”
Further proof that Ryan might not be a flash in the pan is evidenced by his technique, work ethic and humble demeanour.
He revealed that he just doesn’t do the bare minimum.
“They way you train is the way you play,” Ryan said. “I am scoring goals in training and I am combining nicely with my teammates and the coach sees these things there and gives me the opportunity. We stay after training and do a bit of extra work with coach Steve and (Patrick) Mabedi as well as Bernard Parker.
"I listen to a lot of what Bernard has to say because he has also been there and played at the highest level. It is important for me as a youngster to feed off him and absorb as much as I can. He can tell me where I’m supposed to be, which position is best and all that because he is a striker himself. I think it’s great that he is so open and always sharing. Not a lot of people are like this. It’s very rare.”
Komphela has also recently showered Ryan with praise for choosing the best moments in the game to make an impact, an instinct that will be needed against City tomorrow night.
“When you are a striker, a goal is a goal, no matter where it hits you, even if it’s on the cheek. A lot of people will ask why you are not scoring if it’s not happening, but then also criticise if you are only scoring with your head to say why aren’t you using your feet,” said Ryan as he reacted to a mischievous question on when he would start scoring more with his feet than his head.
“Most important is the goals - no matter how it goes in.”