Ekstein: Champions League a big deal for Usuthu

Hendrick Ekstein of AmaZulu

AmaZulu FC midfielder Hendrick Ekstein is looking forward to playing for Usuthu in the CAF Champions League.

Usuthu are scheduled to face Malawian giants Nyasa Big Bullets in the first round tie with the first-leg clash set to be played at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.

It will be AmaZulu’s debut appearance in Africa’s most prestigious club tournament having qualified for the competition after finishing second in last season’s DStv Premiership.

“It is a big deal for us, and we want to make the supporters happy by going as far as we can in the competition,” Ekstein told the media.

Ekstein, who is a former Kaizer Chiefs star, joined Usuthu last month as a free agent having parted ways with Azerbaijan club Sabail FK at the end of last season.

The 30-year-old playmaker revealed that AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy made it easy for him to join the KwaZulu-Natal giants.

“I came back to South Africa because I was in constant communication with coach McCarthy. I started talking with him in 2019 when I left the country,” he revealed.

“It was easy for me to join AmaZulu because I have talked to the coach for a while. I received a warm welcome here, and I am looking forward to playing for this club,” said Ekstein.

Ekstein played his maiden game for Usuthu in the 0-0 draw against Swallows FC in the DStv Premiership match on August 25 as he came on in the 80th minute.

“Even though I played for a few minutes, it was good to play again. If I work hard, I will get more game time. The coach made it clear that he would not do anyone favours,” he added.

The match between AmaZulu and Big Bullets will start at 17h00 CAT.