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Mokwena: De Reuck not Madisha's replacement

Rushine de Reuck of Maritzburg United steals the ball fromThemba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns FC
(Image credit: Backpagepix)

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena says losing a player with the experience, quality and potential of Motjeka Madisha has been hard to handle, but insists new arrival Rushine De Reuck is not viewed as his replacement.

The young central defender was officially announced as a Sundowns player on Saturday, just moments before a statement released by the club finally confirming Madisha’s passing.

Sundowns have struggled with injuries in the heart of their defence this season, especially without Madisha, but Mokwena is adamant that both the player and the club don’t believe he is there to replace Madisha.

'It becomes very difficult because a lot of people are saying he is a replacement for Madisha,' said Mokwena as per Phakaaathi.

'It is very difficult to replace Madisha, I don’t think we will replace Madisha and I don’t think De Reuck, in his own qualities and in respect to the quality that he has, I don’t think he views himself as a replacement for Madisha.

'If you look at Madisha’s profile, at the age of 23 years old he was something you don’t get in this country. He had already played in the Fifa Club World Cup, in the Caf Champions League and he won it. That extensive experience, not only in regard to just club football but also international football.

'Losing a player like that becomes really difficult replacing someone of that calibre. May his soul rest in peace, it is a huge loss for us. Not just from a technical perspective but from a human quality perspective. They did not come any better than "Ace", but we have got to move on.'