Mamelodi Sundowns' Rivaldo Coetzee feeling upbeat ahead of 2018/19 season
Posted: 24 July 2018 Time: 20:30
Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rivaldo Coetzee is delighted to have finally joined his teammates in training since his arrival at the club.
Coetzee joined Sundowns in August last year following the disappointment of a failed switch to Scottish Premiership giants Glasgow Celtic.
The 21-year-old was on the verge of joining Brendan Rodgers' side, but the move fell through after he surprisingly failed a medical.
It turned out Coetzee had been playing with an ankle injury, with Celtic then opting out of the deal upon learning of this as Rodgers had wanted an immediate replacement centre-back at the time.
The Brazilians then swooped in and snapped up the Bafana Bafana international from Ajax Cape Town despite his condition.
A year later, Coetzee was spotted training ahead of the Shell Helix Ultra Cup last week, and has since commented on his return to action.
"It has been good, I feel like this is where I belong now. I'm more involved with the team every day," said Coetzee.
"I'm just happy to be back and to be able to train with the team, and see how far I can go. Mentally, I'm ready for the season but fitness-wise I'm still working on it, it's going to take a bit of time.
"But I'm actually looking forward to this season. I haven't played for a whole season, which was very frustrating but a learning curve as well. I'm hoping I can take that with me to be stronger in future."
Coetzee added that he was fully aware of the long road to recovery when he arrived at Chloorkop, but stresses he is now ready to work hard and fight for his place in Pitso Mosimane's side.
"Since I came to Sundowns, I knew I wasn't going to play for the whole season, and I knew the only way I could come back is to just work hard in rehab and come back as soon as I can," he concluded.