robdylan

One step at a time: Sharksworld chats to Anton Bresler


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 21 Oct 2009 at 23:25
Tagged with : , , , , ,

If there’s one player in the current Sharks set-up who is living proof of the fact that hard work knows no substitute when it comes to progressing in the game of rugby, it’s Anton Bresler. While a number of the players in the current under 21 side, who will play in the final of the ABSA Under 21 Competition next weekend, may have had a somewhat easier ride, having been identified and nurtured early in their careers, Bresler has had to come up the hard way and fight for every opportunity. And he’s a better player for it.

Sharksworld was fortunate to catch up with the 21-year-old Namibian-born lock forward on a rare day off from training. Even though we interrupted his quality time with his Playstation, Bresler was clearly very excited about the challenge that lay ahead for the team. “It’s the first time I’m playing in a final like this and I don’t really know what to expect,” he says, “but I know the Cheetahs are going to be very physical. They have a very strong pack and backs that want to run from everywhere.” Bresler wasn’t in the Under 19 team that won the trophy last year, as he was already playing for the Under 21s, but reckons that having so many of that champion team still together in this year’s Under 21 team has definitely brought the winning culture through.

Another young man who was not a part of that team last year is Pat Lambie and Bresler is full of praise for his young teammate, who was still a pupil at Michaelhouse in 2008 and has leapfrogged the under 19 side altogether. “You just feel so comfortable with a guy like Pat at fullback,” he says, “because he doesn’t make mistakes. You just know that he’s going to be safe under the high ball and that his kicks are going to go over”. While Lambie’s boot has certainly been one of the key factors in the team’s superb season, Bresler reckons that “our defence has been one of our strengths and has really helped us to get to where we are”. A key member of a tight five containing four Baby Boks in Dale Chadwick, Julian Redelinghuys (both Sharks senior débutants this year) , Kyle Cooper and Jandré Marais, Bresler and his buddies in the “engine room” have played a huge part in the team’s success. “We know the things that we need to do up front, if that makes any sense. We know that, although we aren’t always the guys who make things happen, we are the guys who have to get things started. We’re just going to focus on doing what we know how to do in the final.”

The coaching of Sean Everitt has also been a revelation and one of the key reasons that this year’s Under 21 side has performed so much better. “Sean is just such a great coach – just the things he says to the players to get you mentally ready for the game. He finds different ways to motivate you and has a great relationship with the players. He knows what we are capable of and doesn’t shout and swear when things go wrong.” Everitt has shown remarkable continuity in selection this season, with only the odd injury and a call-up or two to the Currie Cup squad disrupting what has been a very settled 22. Bresler reckons that the faith that the coach has in his players really does rub off and results in a confident and happy squad.

We spoke a little about the route that Anton followed to get into the Sharks and as already alluded to, his journey hasn’t always been an easy one. Awarded a scholarship to attend Durban High School, he admits that “I lost my way with rugby at high school. It was only really in my Matric year that I started to take it seriously and play well, but I didn’t make the Craven Week side.” For many players, missing out on selection for the premier schoolboy event can be a fatal blow to their aspirations, as scouts from all the major unions use Craven Week as an opportunity to hand out junior contracts and academy places to the stand-out schoolboys on display. “I was very fortunate to be spotted while playing at the St Stithians Festival,” he continues, “and I was offered a place at the Zululand Rugby Academy in Empangeni”. The Zululand Academy is the somewhat less fashionable alternative to the Sharks Academy proper and although the Zululand Rhinos club that it feeds is always a good bet to upset one or two of the big Durban clubs each year, it’s far harder for Zululand players to crack the Sharks nod.

“I really did well at the Academy,” Bresler tells us, “and having a coach who believed in me made all the difference. That year I was selected for the Sharks Under 19 team and was offered a junior contract.” What the unassuming youngster fails to mention is that he was selected as the Sharks Under 19 player of the year in 2007. His game has continued to flourish ever since and he is now in his second year with the Under 21s. A freak knee injury that occurred at training earlier this year has put things in perspective for Bresler and he refuses to take anything for granted. His ambitions are sensible ones: “right now, I just want to keep on playing and not get injured. I’d love to stay with the Sharks, although nothing has bee finalised yet for next year. My goal is to play some Vodacom Cup next year, maybe Currie Cup too, if not the year after.” Asked about longer term goals, Bresler reckons that he prefers to focus on more immediate, achievable steps. “There are only fifteen guys who can get picked for the Springboks, so your chances of getting there, realistically, are basically zero. I’m just going to keep playing hard and doing my best and if that sort of thing is meant to be, for me, it will happen.”

Our talk drifts back to the big game. When asked whether playing at Loftus will benefit either side, Bresler is realistic. “There are three Cheetahs teams playing on the day, so there will be a lot of support for them. Maybe some of the Bulls fans will be behind us, though… you never know”. We wondered whether playing in front of small crowds in the Under 21 competition was somewhat of an anticlimax for the team, and Bresler replied, “definitely not – at this stage of our careers, we all realise how fortunate we are just to be allowed onto those great stadiums. Just playing there is enough. We can’t expect big crowds to turn out for us, because we haven’t earned that yet…”

Sharksworld would like to thank Anton for his time and needless to say, we wish him and the team nothing but the very best of luck for the big game next weekend. You kids have done us proud and we’re behind you all the way!



49 Comments

  • Nice one Rob, as ever, the investigative journalist in you hounds down even the less celebrity-star status players who are just important in the grand scheme of things.

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.10.09 07:49:56 by Baldrick Reply
    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
     
  • good article rob, wish a long and successful career ahead for anton, does he not have a brother in the system too?

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.10.09 08:08:04 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 2) : you’re confusing him with Jandre Marais, the other lock. His brother Peet plays for the under 19s

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.10.09 08:18:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • Jandre or Jan Andre?

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.10.09 08:22:25 by Baldrick Reply

    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : of course, yes, seems we have some good young locks coming through, sharks xv for vodacom cup next year!!

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.10.09 08:32:51 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @Baldrick (Comment 4) : same person. He goes by either name

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.10.09 09:02:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 5) : seriously, our the sharks xv should be built mainly on the under 21 team of this year which is based on the under 19 team of last year, i think we have a great bunch of players coming through and i think sean everitt is a really good coach as well

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.10.09 09:12:34 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • I’ve just been following the results – but I’m excited for the Junior Sharks…

    It’s going to be a tough day at Loftus but we’re behind them – and I hope I’ll be able to watch their final.

    Sharks forever!

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.10.09 11:14:13 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • What has happened to McLovin? Anyone knows? :?:

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.10.09 11:28:28 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • Truly – this is not sour grapes – but so much shiet out of one guys pen?? I stay with my view on them and rest my case:

    (Sorry for Eng people) This is a letter in Beeld:

    Eendag lank gelede het Robocop besluit hy wil graag kinders hê.

    Omdat hy nie wou hê sy kinders moet soos oondroosters lyk nie, het hy ’n baie besonderse “ander” om hulp genader.

    Omdat Superman ook erg oor kinders is, het hy Robocop se voorstel ernstig oorweeg en Superman het die enigste liggaam op aarde om sulke kragtige kinders te kan voortbring.

    Ongelukkig het hulle nie besef hul gekombineerde nasaat sou heeltemal te sterk en kragtig wees vir hulle om te hanteer nie.

    Toe die baba, wat mieliepap in sy bottel gekry het, ’n jaar oud was, het Robocop op hom afgekom waar hy ’n grysbeer pimpel en pers opdons omdat die dier sy kos gevat het.

    Sonder om te dink het Robocop die baba gegryp en ’n hengse pak slae gegee. Om weg te kom het die baba per ongeluk Robocop doodgemaak en toe Superman tussenbeide tree, beland hy in die hospitaal.

    Superman besluit toe dit sou beter wees om die kind na Suid-Afrika te stuur. Vandag sê ek baie dankie aan Robocop en Superman dat hulle Bakkies Botha vir ons gestuur het.

    Lank lewe die Blou Bul!

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Ek skaam my morsdood as dit familie van my is!! :lol:

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.10.09 11:51:49 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 10) : if u accept my facebook friend request, then i can forward you an e-mail i got on bakkies, its a picture so i cant post it here

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.10.09 11:59:57 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 12) :

    a dot between my name and surname..

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.10.09 12:04:03 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 13) : cool, will do

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.10.09 12:07:21 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • Bloemfontein.– Die Vrystaatse Rugby-unie (VRU) en ondersteuners van die Vrystaat-Cheetahs spoeg vuur nadat die Blou Bulle Maatskappy geweier het om aan hul versoek van 5 000 kaartjies vir die Curriebeker-eindstryd te voldoen.

    Die eindstryd vind volgende naweek – op 31 Oktober – in Pretoria plaas.

    Die Blou Bulle het slegs 3000 van die beskikbare 49875 kaartjies vir die eindstryd aan die VRU toegeken.

    :roll:

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.10.09 12:10:48 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 15) : sneaky bulls tactics

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.10.09 12:13:01 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 15) : more more (ok that’s pretty much my afrikaans :oops:

    what’s the story with the tickets :?:

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.10.09 12:17:38 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 17) : bulls union only giving 3000 tickets to cheetahs, after they asked for 5000, and its 50 000 capacity

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.10.09 12:21:21 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • 5000 is probably all the would have needed, as I don’t often see more cheetah fans than that even at their home stadium. :lol:

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.10.09 12:24:17 by mbayshark Reply
    Competition Winner
    mbaysharkVodacom Cup player
     
  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 17) :

    More more! ;-)

    @war1 (Comment 18) :

    Got your mail :lol:

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.10.09 12:25:02 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
     
  • @mbayshark (Comment 19) :

    :lol: Believe me- for the next few months they will let you know they are Cheetahs (coz they beat the sharks)…but then they will retire to the woodwork again…

    Like I have said – I have heard of “Cheetahs Supporters” that I have forgotten I knew after Saturday.. :roll: :lol:

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.10.09 12:27:22 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 22) : maybe gmail and yahoomail dont like each other, i once tried sending to another gmail account and it kept denying it,

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.10.09 12:36:30 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 22) : i guess you know where the war1 comes from now

  • Comment 24, posted at 22.10.09 12:37:23 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 23) : it was meant to be a joke :mrgreen: – i don’t know ice’s name or surname.

  • Comment 25, posted at 22.10.09 12:38:48 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 21) : my brother-in-law is a proper cheetahs supporter,ill give him that, ive been with him to almost empty super 14 games in bloem, he’ll probably give me lotsa crap about that semifinal

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.10.09 12:39:15 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 24) : sorry, reki, this comment was supposed to be addressed to ice

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.10.09 12:39:51 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 22) : ok, get it now, :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.10.09 12:41:32 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 27) : uhhhhhh (that was sign of relief) – spent last 10 minutes figuring out what I’m missing ;-)

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.10.09 12:45:23 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 24) :

    i do yes – clever…I was wodring if you are just fighting fit or sumthing! :mrgreen:

    I bet you still dont know where Ice comes from.. :?:

    @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 22) :

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    You have Me2′s mail? Ask her for my mail addy!

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.10.09 12:53:03 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
     
  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 30) : i don’t have hers :sad: can always bug rob i guess :lol:

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.10.09 13:10:13 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 31) :

    sure!

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.10.09 13:14:54 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 31) : sure – why not?

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.10.09 13:15:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 32) : @robdylan (Comment 33) : bug sent :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 22.10.09 14:31:33 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 34) :

    Ladybird or cocroach? :lol:

  • Comment 35, posted at 22.10.09 14:39:08 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
     
  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 35) : didn’t quite look – just passed quickly :mrgreen:

  • Comment 36, posted at 22.10.09 14:57:44 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 36) :

    Nothing…

  • Comment 37, posted at 22.10.09 15:03:19 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 37) : the bug is still with Rob ;-)

  • Comment 38, posted at 22.10.09 15:04:55 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 30) : i kinda get it from ur name, made sense to me

  • Comment 39, posted at 22.10.09 15:09:58 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 38) :

    he can be SUCH a slow coach!! :lol:

    @war1 (Comment 39) :

    Forgot you are a clever one! :lol: Although I’d like to think its gotta do with me being cool too.. :lol:

  • Comment 40, posted at 22.10.09 15:24:57 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 40) : obviously its coz ur cool ;-)

  • Comment 41, posted at 22.10.09 15:31:23 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 2) : Not a younger brother, only an older brother and sister.

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.10.09 15:46:28 by Bresler fan Reply

    Academy recruit
     
  • @Bresler fan (Comment 42) : and which one are you? :)

    Just kidding – welcome to the site.

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.10.09 16:10:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • Bresler fan?? Thats pretty intresting! Is there a reason for that name?

  • Comment 44, posted at 25.10.09 09:28:07 by kelzfactor Reply

    kelzfactorVodacom Cup player
     
  • Hi Kelz, I’m also a Bresler Fan. Aren’t you one too?

  • Comment 45, posted at 25.10.09 20:18:08 by StretchB Reply

    StretchBUnder 21 player
     
  • @StretchB (Comment 45) :

    @Bresler fan (Comment 42) : @robdylan (Comment 43) : @kelzfactor (Comment 44) :

    Seems the whole fandamily are fans!! Hope they become fans of SharksWorld too!! :wink:

  • Comment 46, posted at 26.10.09 08:38:11 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 46) : i think they already are :-) or, at least, I hope so

  • Comment 47, posted at 26.10.09 08:59:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • Im a big fan of bresler! And jip im apart of sharksworld.

  • Comment 48, posted at 26.10.09 13:17:46 by kelzfactor Reply

    kelzfactorVodacom Cup player
     
  • @kelzfactor (Comment 48) : I hope he buys you nice presents for saying things like that :)

  • Comment 49, posted at 26.10.09 14:03:53 by robdylan Reply
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