One player who certainly didn’t expect to be named in the Sharks match 22 for tomorrow’s crunch clash against the Blue Bulls is young lock forward Anton Bresler.
Having fought his way into the Sharks junior ranks through the unfancied Zululand Academy, the young Namibian-born second-rower is used to doing thing the hard way. His somewhat surprising selection in the number 18 jersey for Saturday’s semi-final, at the expense of more experienced campaigners like Gerhard Mostert and Michael Rhodes has certainly raised a few eyebrows.
For Bresler, though, it’s a dream come true and a chance that he’s determined to make the most of.
“Well, you can just imagine how I feel,” he tells me. “To now suddenly be in the team against a good side like the Bulls, with all their Springboks. To know that the coach puts his trust in me, after only playing against average sides so far. I’ll be playing against a player that I’ve looked up to since school days – Bakkies Botha – it’s all just so incredible. I don’t know whether to be nervous or excited!
“I just know that so many people would love to be in the position I’m in. I am so blessed and I’m going to make it count out there,” Bresler continues.
I asked Anton whether his preparation for this game is going to be any different. “I’m going to prepare for it like any other game, although obviously I’ve got more things going through my mind about this game. I need to make sure I prepare as I know how to – I don’t want to change anything. It’s important to be myself when I get onto the field.”
And why did John Plumtree pick him? We don’t want to give too much away, of course, but Anton reckons the coach’s praise was very encouraging. “He says I’ve got speed, which is what he wants to see coming on, together with a big physical presence; he says my physicality will be needed, which is a big boost to the confidence!”
Go get em, Ants! You can follow Bresler on Twitter and send your messages of support here.Tweet