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Ekstein aims to repay Folz with good display

AmaZulu midfielder bounces back from Diski Challenge team

Neville Khoza Journalist
Henrick Ekstein of AmaZulu FC.
Henrick Ekstein of AmaZulu FC.
Image: Darren Stewart

AmaZulu attacking midfielder Hendrick Ekstein has vowed not to disappoint coach Romain Folz after he gave him a lifeline at the club.

Ekstein, alongside Thabo Qalinge, were left out in the cold from the beginning of the season when former coach Brandon Truter was in charge and were training with the Diski Challenge team.

But the arrival of Folz towards the end of last year gave them a second chance after the club was ready to get rid of them.

Ekstein returned to action when Usuthu lost 0-2 to Royal AM in the KwaZulu-Natal derby at the weekend and impressed the coach with his performance.

“I’m happy he is giving me a chance as I'm coming from the Diski Challenge; he said I should show that I know how to play football and what I’m doing is I’m rewarding him back because he said he believes in me,” Ekstein told the media yesterday.

“What I can promise the supporters is that I will work hard and if I get a push from the players and the coach who believe in us, I think things will go well.

“It is not me only but the whole team because if I can do well and the team does well, I think we can achieve more.”

The 32-year-old, who  has pressure to impress the club with his contract coming to an end in June, said he plans to use his experience to do well. 

“It is not something new that happened. I'm used to it, even where I was before they once did it to me. I won't mention names. But I was once trained with the Diski team from the first team,” he said.

“So it is something I’m used to. It is all about strong mentality and knowing what you want. For me, it was not a difficult thing.”

Ekstein was also satisfied with his performance against Royal and hopes to build on that heading into the Kaizer Chiefs match at Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow at 7.30pm.

“To be honest, it was tough after going out for such a long time. Six months is a lot, but I had to dig deep and work hard. We’ve been training very well and the pre-season was also hard.

“So for me, I’m happy that we managed to play the way we did. We just have to convert our chances.”

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