from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG – BY his own admission, Evans Rusike has endured a disappointing spell since swapping the blue strip of Maritzburg United for the blue of SuperSport United.
Injury and loss of form have combined to curtail his progress.
The Zimbabwean international nonetheless assured fans from the capital city-based premiership team (Tshwane) he would soon overcome his blues and bang in the goals to help them to silverware.
Rusike has not hit the desired highs after joining the Pretoria-based former league champions in 2018 and before the coronavirus (COVID-19) wrecked the current campaign, he had scored two goals in 19 appearances across all competitions.
“Honestly, this season, I’m not happy with my performance, especially not scoring many goals,” the striker conceded.
The man from Chitungwiza, who turns 30 next Saturday (June 13), was speaking to CAJ News Africa in an interview.
“Remember when I joined SuperSport United from Maritzburg, I became the top goal scorer with only six goals but that was far below my capabilities and abilities,” Rusike, scorer of six goals in 46 SuperSport United appearances, added.
Eric Tinkler, coincidentally now the coach at The Team of Choice, brought the player to Gauteng after the forward scored 20 goals in 74 appearances for the KwaZulu-Natal side.
Before the COVID-19 halted the current Absa Premiership campaign in March, Rusike was already in the sidelines with a knee injury sustained at the end of February.
He said he has made steady progress and is already looking beyond the current uncertain campaign as he has been ruled out of action, even if the league resumed.
“I’m going to try my best to bang as many goals as possible next season,” Rusike said.
“Our supporters deserve to rejoice. It is my sincere hope I heal 100 percent so that goals start coming my way,” the player added.
The hard-running forward also relishes hopes of playing in Europe, hence he has to start rediscovering his goal-scoring form.
“It is no secret,” Rusike explained.
“Every player who does well in a league like the Absa Premiership would always wish to play in top European leagues. I am no exception,” he said.
“It is my dream to play in Europe before retirement. Rubbing shoulders with big guns is what I like most, but I have to work extra harder to ensure I draw the attention of European teams,” Rusike added.
Contracted until 2021, with an option of two years, Rusike is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
He said training on his own during the lockdown also might have contributed to his longer than anticipated recovery as he was relying solely on instructions from the technical team and doctors instead of doing exercises with fellow players.
Coach Kaitano Tembo’s SuperSport were on third position when the COVID-19 pandemic put the Absa Premiership campaign on hold.
Placed behind leaders, Kaizer Chiefs and defending champions and cross-city rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United had a mathematical chance of winning the title.
Rusike seized the opportunity to assure the Zimbabwe national team was capable of qualifying for the next Africa Cup of Nations, whose qualifiers have also been suspended because of the pandemic.
“Our national team has so much talent. The current crops of national team players are capable of giving Zimbabwe the desired results,” he concluded.
– CAJ News