De Jong aims to be the difference for Usuthu

Andre de Jong of Amazulu

With the loss of crucial figures in attack due to injuries for Zambian international, Augustine Mulenga and target man, Bongi Ntuli, AmaZulu will hope to see the well-composed 25-year-old attacker asserting himself upfront as they look to mount a formidable ascension on the log table.

Having joined Usuthu during the 2019/20 season which was followed by a string of severe and niggling injuries, which was compounded by a halt in progress due to Covid-19, the former Eastern Suburbs man has enjoyed more starts in his PSL career to date.

“It was a bit stop-start for me with the two serious injuries and then Covid-19 as well, I also think the change of coaches. It has been a little tricky a bit, balancing that all out for any player coming into the league.

“It’s obviously very physical, and very fast. That’s the main thing, if you can find space and little pockets of space to play in, I think that’s where you can make a bit of space and time and have a good effect on the game, but it is very tough and physical,” said de Jong.

Their second win on the trot is a testament to the toughness and the competitiveness of the DStv Premiership especially now 5 matches left to be played.

Against relegation fighting Baroka FC, AmaZulu dug deep to escape with all three points as de Jong produced a well-timed assist to Luvuyo Memela who scored on the referee’s optional time.

“I think it was a traditional derby game against Maritzburg this past weekend where it was very tough conditions, obviously with all the rain and that. The pitch was quite heavy. Both teams were ready to put in their all with Maritzburg in the log, it’s tough for them so they threw everything at us, and I thought we did very well to win the game 1-0 in trying circumstances. Obviously, the own goal was a bit fortuitous, but I thought on the balance of play and the number of chances we created it was a deserved win,” he said.

The All-White number 10 forecasts another crunching derby on the cards for him and his teammates against 2nd placed Royal AM on Sunday afternoon.

“Royal AM have been flying this season, and they’re second on the log. It’s going to be very tough, especially going to Chatsworth Stadium where they’ve made that a bit of a fortress for them. But I think on the back of two solid victories we can go in there with a lot of confidence. If we put the same application, we did against Maritzburg United and Baroka then I can see us winning this game as well.”

“Even though with all things that happened in Durban over the past weeks, obviously it was just a small part of fans it still made a massive difference. For us, as players, that’s the best feeling playing in front of fans. Obviously, if Chatsworth will be full of Royal AM and AmaZulu supporters that will mean a lot to us,” said de Jong.