Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has confirmed that new signing Rushine de Reuck will be available for selection for their Caf Champions League Group B opening game against Sudanese outfit Al-Hilal at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The young defender made the switch form Maritzburg United a couple of weeks ago after firing in the 2019-20 season, winning the PSL Defender of the Season award.
Mokwena on Thursday confirmed the new signing has been registered for the Champions League‚ and cleared his medical examination‚ making him available for selection against Hilal.
‘De Reuck has started training this week – he trained with us officially on his birthday [on Tuesday]. And‚ ja‚ he’s registered for Caf‚’ Mokwena said.
‘His medical situation has been resolved and‚ ja‚ he’s registered for Caf and should be available for selection.’
Al-Hilal will prove a tough opponent for the Brazilians having boasted a proud record in the competition where they have reached the semi-finals five times – including recently in 2009‚ 2011 and 2015.
The Sudanese team featured in the group stages of last season’s competition, finishing third by a single point (10) to second-placed quarter-final qualifiers and eventual tournament winners Al Ahly (11) and top-placed Étoile du Sahel (12 points).
Mokwena also revealed that the Downs players were given extra time off to recuperate for the clash after a hectic few weeks.
‘We’ve had now what in our periodisation we call a “neutral week”‚ because we last played last week‚’ the Downs co-coach said.
‘So, we gave the players a couple of days off [Thursday and Friday] last week with relation to the upcoming cycle‚ where we know the games are coming every few days for the next month and a half before maybe the Fifa break [in March].
‘So, it was to try and give some recuperation time to the players‚ and then restart. And we restarted on Monday where we worked a bit on the tactical side of what we can expect‚ not just in relation to the Sudanese team but particularly for the Caf Champions League campaign.
‘We worked two days this week‚ Monday and Tuesday‚ and had Wednesday off. And then we resume again with match-day minus-2 [Thursday]‚ and match-day minus-1 tomorrow [Friday]‚ and hopefully then we are ready for a very difficult game on Saturday.’
Sundowns are also drawn with five-time champions TP Mazembe of Democratic Republic of Congo and Algeria’s CR Belouizdad in Group B.
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