Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler believes the past few months have been tough on Jeremy Brockie, not least because of the weight of expectation he was carrying on his shoulders.

The New Zealand striker joined the Team of Choice on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns at the start of the season, with plenty of fanfare and buzz surrounding his arrival in the KwaZulu-Natal capital.

But after missing a penalty 17 minutes into his United career, he had to wait 10 more games before finally netting his first goal last Friday – his first strike for 15 months. Tinkler concedes it has been tough for the 32-year-old.

Brockie’s goal in Maritzburg’s 1-1 draw with Cape Town City on Friday was his first since scoring for Sundowns in a league match way back on November 7, 2018.

It has been a real slug for Brockie since he left SuperSport United a little over two years ago on the back of netting 28 goals in three years. But Tinkler is hoping his goal last week will spark a change in fortunes for the beleaguered attacker.

Brockie struggled to really fit in at Sundowns, where he was limited to just 21 appearances by coach Pitso Mosimane. That left him frustrated, but Tinkler says he has been seeing signs recently of the Brockie of old.

Meanwhile, Tinkler has shared his thoughts on the debut of another loanee, Tebogo Tlolane. The Orlando Pirates utility man moved to KZN just over a week ago, joining until the end of the season.

He was handed a maiden appearance in Friday’s game, playing with plenty of energy and enterprise to help the Team of Choice consolidate their sixth position on the table.

Tinkler believes that with time, the 25-year-old will get even better. – Report by Thahir Asmal