Scramble for Rusike


HARARE – Zimbabwe international forward Evans Rusike’s stock has continued to rise with a number of leading South African clubs chasing after the Maritzburg United star player’s signature.

Despite the Team of Choice’s struggles in the just-ended season, Rusike had an electrifying debut season in the Super Diski after signing from Hwange.

Rusike finished the season as Maritzburg’s top scorer with nine goals from 27 appearances to win the club’s Golden Boot.

The Zimbabwean was also voted the Team of Choice Player of Season at an awards ceremony held at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.

Without Rusike’s goals, Maritzburg, who were rooted to the bottom of the log since the opening weeks, were surely going to be relegated.

The former Hwange forward scored a brace in the 3-1 comeback win over Jomo Cosmos at the weekend to secure Maritzburg’s Super Diski status for next season.

Maritzburg chairperson Farook Kadodia told Kick Off they had received bids from a lot of “big club” for Rusike’s signature.

Some of the leading clubs believed to have approached the Team of Choice for Rusike’s signature include Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.

The Team of Choice boss, however, insisted they will do everything in their power to make sure the red-hot forward stays in Pietermaritzburg.

“I must confirm that we had approaches from big clubs from South Africa and people who thought we will be relegated,” Kadodia said.

“It took a while for him (Rusike) to settle. It took us at least four months. But we have made a decision and we will not sell our players and break up the team.

“If there is a situation of any other player we will look at it and it will all depend on circumstances.”

The club insists they will only be prepared to release Rusike to a foreign club.    

“On Rusike’s case we had to be patient with him to settle down for four months and the current coach got the best out of him,” Kadodia said.

“We have definitely acknowledged that and we would like the coach to get more out of him before we put him onto the international market. He is happy to stay.”

Although, Maritzburg are adamant they will try their best to keep the Zimbabwean; the club’s resolve will be tested by an appropriate bid.

The KwaZulu Natal-based side is believed to have paid a transfer fee in the region of R2 million when they signed Rusike from Hwange.

Maritzburg probably be willing to release the forward if they receive a bid which is double that amount or more.

While his future is up for discussion, Rusike has an international match to think about after he was included in Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa’s squad for next week 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi.

The Warriors host the Flames on June 5 knowing that a win will edge them closer to sealing a place at the finals to be held in Gabon.

Rusike was on target in his last international when he scored with virtually his first touch in the Warriors’ 4-0 win over Swaziland in March at the National Sports Stadium.

Pasuwa is spoilt for choice in the forwards department at the moment.

It is not only Rusike, who is setting up the Super Diski on fire.

Mamelodi Sundowns forward Khama Billiat is in the running to win all the top individual accolades on Monday after leading the Brazilians to Super Diski glory.

Orlando Pirates striker Tendai Ndoro has finally settled at the Soweto giants and could finish the season by winning silverware in tomorrow’s Nedbank Cup final against SuperSport United.

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