After a relocation to Bloemfontein, where he served as the VKB Knights captain, the hard-hitting batsman is coming back to his roots, and he cannot wait to make up for lost time.
“I’ve been a Pretoria boy my entire life and I’m just excited to be back,” said the 25-year-old
For de Bruyn, the SuperSport Park precinct holds a flood of memories, and it is also what he hopes will be the scene of many more memorable days to come in a personal and team perspective.
“I remember before I made my Titans debut, I was sitting with my four best men from my wedding day on the grass embankments and watching a Ram Slam game. Two weeks later, I made my debut in the same competition, which is where everything started,” he recalled.
De Bruyn has come through the relentless Titans and Northerns Cricket bloodline, having excelled at school, then club and varsity, before eventually making his mark as a professional.
“I’ve got so many fond memories, not just with the franchise, but at school cricket we were really successful. With TUKS we went to the University World Cup - which we went on to win. So this place breeds winning. It’s part of your DNA,” he pointed out.
The winning Titans culture that he has experienced from a afar in the recent past has definitely flourished in recent years, and de Bruyn is eager to help add another layer of success over the course of his return season.
“It’s in your blood. It’s a great structure; the whole system, from schools to university cricket and club cricket into the Northerns side,” he explained of the set-up he is returning to.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the head coach, Mark Boucher. The ultimate goal is to one day represent your country in all three formats, and who better to learn from than a guy who has played 150 Test matches,” de Bruyn said of his new franchise coach.
He added that he knows only too well that the Titans’ squad runs deep with quality, and he is already braced for a strong battle to win his place in the top-order back.
“The competition within the squad creates an environment where you want to keep on improving, if you want to keep to the pace that has been set. It’s a healthy environment; good competition and your blood is blue! What more do you want.”
Looking ahead to his own goals, de Bruyn again reiterated how tough it will be for him to get back into the flagship side for the franchise. After all, in his absence, the trophies have kept on coming.
“I’m very motivated for the new season,” he insisted.
“The first step will be getting into the Titans first XI - which is a very strong team. Then, hopefully make a winning contribution towards the season treble,” he said cheerfully of the team goal for the next campaign.
It hasn’t taken de Bruyn long to get back into the swing of things, and now he is counting the days until he can pull on his sky blues jumper again.