Making the grade at Kaizer Chiefs is probably one of the hardest tasks for any football player in South Africa.
Being at the biggest club in the country is a different ball game. The added pressure that comes with the lights, glitz, glam and money, combining with the weight to succeed on the pitch can be daunting to say the least.
Matthew Rusike is a name you may not see very often in the Chiefs starting XI, despite being a highly talented player, but there may be a glimmer of hope for the Zimbabwean when looking at the ‘Mandla Masango’ story.
‘Bullet’, as he is known in the local football fraternity, was transfer listed at the beginning of the season due to unconvincing performances in previous Premier Soccer League campaigns. Since the start of the new season, Masango became the free scoring right winger people knew he could be, and also established himself as an important member of coach Shakes Mashaba’s Bafana Bafana team ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Rusike could take solace in the fact that he has not been transfer listed, and at the age of 24, he has every right to feel he can still make the grade at the highest level because of his potential.
I feel that hope is not lost in the striker and, like Masango, we can only hope that he works hard enough to grab every chance he gets.
Can Rusike learn from Masango’s example?