Hendrick Ekstein has revealed his ordeal of training with AmaZulu reserve team, saying the only thing that was tasty at that time was his wife’s cooked meal.

Ekstein was banished by Usuthu’s former coach Brandon Truter to train with the reserve as he deemed him and Thabo Qalinge to surplus to requirements.

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They trained with Usuthu for six months and when Romain Folz arrived in October to replace Truter, he was told that they were senior players who were banished and training with the reserve team before he could look at the transfer market.

And based on what Folz has seen, he is happy with both, with Ekstein playing his full match in the 2-0 loss to Royal AM at Chatsworth Stadium over the weekend while Qalinge came in the second half.

“Obviously when you are in that position, you won’t think straight,” Ekstein replied to the iDiski Times outside the Kings Park Stadium as the club prepare to host Kaizer Chiefs, Ekstein’s former club, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.

“For eating or not eating, I was able to eat.”

When pressed if the food was still tasty while banished, Ekstein laughed.

“It was tasty because it was cooked by my wife,” he replied.

“Everything was smelling nice, so for me it was not difficult (to adjust to the situation), because I have been to this situation before (at Chiefs). It was not a new thing, I’m used to it.

“I had to chin up and work hard and that’s why I came back.”

According to iDiski Times sources, Ekstein and Qalinge weren’t sour about their banishment away from the senior team and were arriving each and every day and on time.

Ekstein impressed against Royal AM, showing his ingenuity and the attacking spark that was seen at Chiefs before he left the Soweto giants in 2019.

Coach Folz played him the entire match and confirmed he was his best player on the pitch over the weekend.

While it was Ekstein’s first appearance this season, he tailed off towards the end and that was understandable as he has not featured at the top level of the game since May.

“To be honest, it was tough after being out for such a long time – six months is too much but I had to dig deep and work hard,” he said.

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“Because we have been training very well and the pre-season was also hard, so for me it was very hard. But we played well, it was a matter of converting our chances but we couldn’t.

“Let’s hope on Friday we will get the maximum points.”

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