'He must not dwell on recent snub'

Mokoena urges De Reuck to work hard to get Bafana call-up

Neville Khoza Journalist
Rushin De Reuck
Rushin De Reuck
Image: Gavin Barker/Backpagepix

Former Bafana Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena has urged defender Rushine de Reuck not to dwell much on the recent snub for the senior national team back-to-back friendly matches.

The defender enjoyed an excellent season with Maritzburg United but did not get a call-up in the two friendly recent matches. against Namibia and Zambia.

Mokoena, who accumulated more than 100 appearances for Bafana, said the 24-year-old must continue working hard for his team while waiting for an opportunity.

“The fact that he is playing for Maritzburg under coach Eric Tinkler means he is one of the best. He needs to make sure that when given the opportunity, he does well for the team. He will need to make sure that he grabs that chance with two hands,” Mokoena told Sowetan yesterday.

“He might probably feel that he has not got a chance, we might feel the same as well, maybe coach Tinkler or his fans might think the same way. But I promise you, when the chance arrives, he must make sure that he doesn’t look back.”

After he was snubbed first by coach Molefi Ntseki for the back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe in March, De Reuck said he was surprised as he expected a call-up.

But having watched Bafana draw against Namibia 1-1 and lose to Zambia 1-2, with Ntseki using two teams, Mokoena feels it is just a matter of time before De Reuck receives a call-up.

“The coach is giving every player a chance. I don’t think it is all about being overlooked, to be honest,” Mokoena said.

“What the coach is trying to do is if you saw the game against Namibia and Zambia, he played different teams altogether.

“He is trying to see which players he can build and lay a foundation on. I’m sure he watches PSL games, and he knows on the day when he makes a selection which footballer  he is looking for.

“We would say from the outside that he should pick this one, but he has players that he wants to select. I know coach Molefi well as a graduate, he worked with the Under-17s, and he has been an assistant coach to Stuart Baxter, and now he is the head coach. He knows what he wants,” Mokoena said.

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