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Rushine de Reuck on Bafana snub: ‘I’m not going to lie, I expected the call-up’

Rushine de Reuck, centre, of Maritzburg United.
Rushine de Reuck, centre, of Maritzburg United.
Image: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

Maritzburg United centreback Rushine de Reuck has admitted he was surprised to not receive a call-up for Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki’s squad for the back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe in March.

De Reuck, who has not had a call-up to the national team, had been hotly tipped to make the squad for the games against Sao Tome as he was enjoying an excellent season for Maritzburg, who at the time were charging up the Absa Premiership table on the back of some fine defensive displays.

The 24-year-old did not get a call, with eyebrows raised that he was shouldered out by arguably less in-form players such as Kaizer Chiefs’ Erick Mathoho and Golden Arrows’ Gladwin Shitolo for the Cameroon 2021 qualifiers that were eventually called off due to the coronavirus.

“With the Bafana snub – obviously, I’m not going to lie, I expected the call-up,” De Reuck told an online press conference arranged by his club on Friday.

“Because I was doing really well. Maritzburg probably have the best defence in the league statistically, and we had kept 12 clean sheets and everyone was talking about it.

“But what can you do? There are a lot of other players who probably also feel they were snubbed.

“So I can’t go to social media talking about stuff like that. I just need to stay positive and continue to work hard, because I know my chance will come.

“There’s a lot of motivation to take from that too. Obviously I was a bit upset but not for too long.

“Nothing comes easy. I just need to continue working hard – and that’s my biggest goal.”

De Reuck had started all 24 of Maritzburg’s league games as they found themselves in a creditable fifth place when the Premiership was suspended due to Covid-19 on March 16.

His strong performances have reportedly attracted interest from the PSL’s biggest clubs.