Usuthu attacking duo, Hlalele and de Jong ready to put their hands up

Coach Ayanda Dlamini will have more attacking options going to into the Absa Premiership return from the enforced Corona Virus hiatus as Charlie Hlalele and Andre de Jong become available for selection after returning from injury.

Both attacking midfielders have been out of action for 9 and 4 months respectively.

Hlalele tells of his excitement to compete for a spot in the starting eleven with six games to go after he suffered a tendon tear in his right leg a week into the start of the 2019/20 season.

“I am very happy to be back in training, it’s been nine months since I last played any football, which was really frustrating for me.”

“I am really thankful for the help that I have been getting form the team, I can’t wait to compete for a spot in the starting line up as well and help the team,” he adds.

New Zealand international Andre de Jong (22) is equally elated after spending the first ten weeks of his rehabilitation process almost idle.

The long wait was forced by the severity of the fracture on his foot that he had sustained during the international break in November last year.

De Jong said: “It feels really good to be back amongst the boys, it was about 15 weeks being out of action, it’s been a bit of a frustration, but I’m really pleased with my progress nonetheless.”

The duo both gave credit to the club’s high performance department which consists of High Performance manager Josh Smith, Physiotherapist Ryan Coert and Strength and Conditioning coach Zunaid Crowie for their assistance.

“For the first ten weeks there wasn’t much that I could do, I just had to keep my weight up but since then it’s been proper receptive work.”

“It’s been hard work, working with our physio Ryan and our strength and conditioning coach Zunaid to get back to full fitness, so I’m very thankful to them all,” said de Jong.

Andre De Jong of AmaZulu

Both players participated in last week’s friendly match against Glad Africa Championship side Richards Bay FC.

For 25-year-old former Orlando Pirates Reserves man, Hlalele hitting the ground running is top on his agenda as Usuthu lie 15th on the log with six games remaining.

“I may be a bit behind in terms of game time but I am ready to fight for a spot in the team, it’s not going to be easy with six games left but we’re all willing to put in the hard work to steer ourselves to safety,” Charlie concluded.

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