Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rushine De Reuck returned to Chloorkop along with his national teammates Sphelele Mkhulise and Lebohang Maboe with an additional accolade to his collection of achievements after a successful campaign with the South African Senior National team in the 2021 COSAFA Cup tournament. De Reuck formed a part of the Bafana Bafana squad that claimed the fifth Cup title of the annual Southern African tournament held in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.
“I am very happy that we managed to win the trophy, us as players had a big responsibility to do well for the country because we are not in a good state, [I am] happy that we managed to win and make the fans proud.”
“It’s a great feeling, it starts obviously at Sundowns, that winning mentality and I felt like we took that to the national team, it is just really nice winning trophies, as a player that’s what you want, you want to be a part of that team and you want to leave a legacy”
De Reuck – who was appointed vice-captain of the national team – says that winning the tournament was important not only for the players, but for the nation: “We know how many people are watching Bafana and watching our games, we knew that we needed to perform really well to make our fans proud and to make the people of South Africa proud. I feel like we’ve done that by winning the trophy.”
De Reuck took up a leadership role in the senior national team keeping an outstanding record of clean sheets, contributing to the team not conceding a goal throughout the tournament: “I am embracing the new role of being vice-captain, I felt like I’ve done quite well because I needed to step up, be a leader and try to lead from the back [and] I felt I’ve done that. We’ve kept six clean sheets; I am very happy about that.”
Unlike many of his teammates that got to enjoy the off-season break, the decorated defender spent much of his “break” on national duty and winning the trophy is the cherry on top for all his sacrifices.
“It wasn’t easy, after we won the league, I went straight into camp with Bafana. I spent a few days at home and then back into camp again to play in the COSAFA Cup. It wasn’t easy but as footballers you want to be part of it, be part of that environment and be part of the national team as well, so we can’t complain.” De Reuck expressed with delight.
He concluded and said “I am tired, I am not going to lie but it was worth the while for me because we won the trophy.”