JOHANNESBURG - Supersport United would have felt Evans Rusike was an underwhelming January signing given the money spent, rather hastily, to lure him away from Maritzburg United following Jeremy Brockie’s departure.
The Zimbabwean packed his bags and headed for Tshwane, but appeared to have forgotten his scoring boots back in the Midlands - he’d scored a single goal in 12 matches for his new club after he had managed eight as a winger-cum-striker in 19 games for his old team.
“I think I have had a good pre-season,” Rusike said in his post-match reaction after SuperSport beat Bidvest Wits 1-0 on Saturday night thanks to his solitary strike. “This all gives me confidence going into the next game (an MTN8 first leg semifinal at home against Kaizer Chiefs). I got to know my teammates better during pre-season, which is helpful in any team. It is different when you come in during the window period and everyone is expecting results.”
Those results actually didn’t come until the last day of the season as Matsatsantsa escaped the threat of relegation with a laboured 1-0 performance against Baroka FC. Only boardroom points, due to the Ajax and Tendai Ndoro saga, helped SuperSport get into the top eight and have a chance to defend their MTN8 trophy.
Rusike might have felt responsible for not hitting the ground running with crucial goals, which, by the way, Brockie too was battling to get before joining crosstown rivals Mamelodi Sundowns. “I arrived when the team was struggling a bit,” said Rusike, who has now scored three goals in four games from all competitions early on this season.