De Reuck’s hard work pays off as he chases glory in front of his friends and fam­ily

The Star Late Edition - - SPORT - MINENHLE MKHIZE

THE fairy-tale of Mar­itzburg United’s young de­fender Rushine de Reuck has been a story of per­spi­ra­tion and in­spi­ra­tional.

The 22-year-old cen­tre­back from Kle­in­fontein in Cape Town will be play­ing in his de­but fi­nal in top flight football in front of his fam­ily and com­mu­nity.

The Team of Choice will lock horns with Free State Stars in the Ned­bank Cup fi­nal show­down at the Cape Town Sta­dium to­mor­row night (kick-off 7pm).

De Reuck’s jour­ney has had tor­rid times but his de­sire for ac­com­plish­ment has kept him go­ing. In 2014 he was com­pelled to leave school in Grade 11 and pur­sue his dream of play­ing in Europe.

But his ten­ure in Europe was cut short be­cause of home­sick­ness.

“I didn’t fin­ish ma­tric be­cause I de­cided to go to Europe in 2014. Football was the only thing I wanted to do. I have Grade 11. In Europe I played for Pa­cos de Fer­reira in Por­tu­gal. They spot­ted me while I was play­ing in the Bay­hill Cup. I was part of the dream team. They choose the dream that goes over­seas af­ter the tour­na­ment. I was with FC Porto for three months and then I went to Pa­cos de Fer­reira. I wasn’t ma­ture enough. I was a young boy and missed home and I de­cided to come back,” De Reuck said.

De Reuck was signed by Mar­itzburg as a free agent at the start of the sea­son.

“Be­fore I came here I wasn’t play­ing at all. I took a gap year from football. I trained with Mi­lano United for one month but I wasn’t re­ally play­ing. Be­fore I joined Mi­lano’s Vo­da­com League I was with A.S.V Cape Town, it is a soc­cer school.Then I came here last sea­son in April on trial. I clearly im­pressed and as they say, the rest is his­tory,” De Reuck ex­plained.

He has made 16 ap­pear­ances in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son.

“I want to in­spire kids from my area. We are role mod­els to them. I have a younger brother (Re­dian) who plays for Mu­tual Academy. He is re­ally ex­cited. This is one of the main rea­sons I’m do­ing what I’m do­ing. I want to in­spire him. I want to show kids that any­thing is pos­si­ble if you work hard.”

What a story it will be for De Reuck if he were to lift the tro­phy in front of his mother and sib­lings.

“It is an amaz­ing feel­ing. This is my first sea­son in top flight football and to be play­ing my first fi­nal in Cape Town in front of my fam­ily is re­ally amaz­ing.

“As a team we are re­ally happy. We’ve achieved a lot through­out the sea­son. This goes to show how much you can achieve if you work hard,” De Reuck said.

The Team of Choice are look­ing to be­come the first KwaZulu-Na­tal club to lift the Ned­bank Cup since its in­cep­tion in 1971.

“My fam­ily is com­ing. I come from the ghetto. Peo­ple in my com­mu­nity can only dream of sit­u­a­tions like this. I’m re­ally proud of my­self and I’m sure they also proud. I’m the first pro­fes­sional foot­baller from my area. I have no doubt that they will come in their num­bers.

“It has been an amaz­ing jour­ney. When I came to Mar­itzburg, I never thought some­thing like this would hap­pen. I set my­self small goals. We’ve sur­prised a lot of peo­ple.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.