Booysen ready for Arrows clash

2013-11-15 00:00

THE storm is over for Maritzburg United defender David Booysen who has recovered from a knee and hamstring injury, and resumed full training.

The dire injury situation the club found themselves in earlier on in the season has been improving slowly with a number of players coming back.

Coach Clinton Larsen, who has stated countless times that they were getting stronger every week, should find this music to his ears.

The 24-year-old Booysen was confident yesterday that he would be ready for selection for the Team of Choice for the upcoming KZN derby against Golden Arrows in Durban on November 24.

With regular centre back partners Mario Booysen, David’s older brother, and Mohammed Awal on top form, he knew he had a challenge ahead of him as he tried to force his way into coach Larsen’s first team.

“I just have to keep working hard. It’s all about hard work,” David told The Witness yesterday, adding that competition for a place in the team would be tough, especially with the Bafana Bafana-capped Robyn Johannes also returning from injury.

With his brother, Mario, picking up a light injury to his groin in United’s last league game against Platinum Stars last week, David said he had to make sure he was ready to help the team should he be called upon.

Speaking of his lengthy injury lay- off, he said: “It was a difficult time for me. But, I knew that it was all up to me and I had to work hard. Now that I’m back, it’s up to the coach to decide when I play.”

Due to the severity of the knee injury — which required surgery — and a hamstring problem on top of that, David at times thought he would only recover in time for the second half of the season.

“My recovery was speedy, and my family, club, team and coach were there for me,” he said.

Having watched the season from the stands, he said he was happy with how the team had done so far.

“We’re in a good league position, and the points difference isn’t that big between us [eighth] and the league leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns.

“We’re doing well and we’re not looking down, we’re looking up.

“A win, maybe two wins on the trot, will see us move into a good position.”

United’s next league game is a trip to Durban to take on Abafana Be’thende.

Thereafter, they welcome Caf Champions League runners up Orlando Pirates to Harry Gwala Stadium in the first week of December.

David was confident they could give the former champions a run for their money.

“Pirates always struggle when they come here. The last time we played them in Pietermaritzburg, we beat them 2-1. But, they’re also on a high [following their African campaign], so we’ll have to be cautious,” he said.

He also praised coach Larsen, saying that under him, the club played a different structure of football to that under previous coach Ernst Middendorp.

“He’s proven at Bloemfontein Celtic that he is a good coach.

“He gives the guys a lot of confidence.

“You can see he is a coach who wants the team to play,” he said.

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