Feeling the excitement: Sharksworld chats to Conrad Hoffman

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 13 Dec 2010 at 10:57
Tagged with : , , ,

Promising 23-year-old Western Province scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman is one of only three senior players who will be joining the Sharks squad ahead of the 2011 season. “Hoffies” has been in Durban, training with his new team mates for the last 3 weeks and Sharksworld caught up with him for a quick chat last week.

Sharksworld: Welcome to the Sharks, Conrad. Can you tell us how you’re settling in so far?
Conrad Hoffman: At the moment I’m settled in – living in Glenashley temporarily. It’s my third week here and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a really relaxed vibe – far more relaxed than other unions but you definitely work hard!

SW: Tell us about yourself – where did you grow up and how did you get to where you are now?
I’m originally from Robertson – it’s a little platteland wine village in the Boland – it’s a very small town. I went to school in Paarl – Paarl Boys High – although I wasn’t really a keen rugby player all my life. I did play Craven Week for Western Province in matric and it basically all started there. Then I went to Stellenbosch and I played SA Under 19 – that was in 2006. I also played Western Province Under 19 and was contracted as a junior and after that I was drafted for the SA Sevens team. I broke my arm at one of the training camps, though, so couldn’t play for them! In 2007 I stared playing Currie Cup. I had a major setback in 2008, though, when I had a hip operation. I was out for about 12 months with that. I actually had a groin operation in the January of that year, but when Bolla Conradie was injured, I was called up to play for the Stormers. I never really recovered though, and suffered from chronic joint pain, so after that I had to have the hip operation. I was out for pretty much the whole 2008 season and had a really difficult season in 2009 as I struggled to make it back. Then this year I played Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup for Western Province.

SW: And what made you decide to leave Western Province and head down to the Sharks at this point in your career?
It was a bigger decision than you think – because it’s a whole change of lifestyle and a change of culture. I just felt that for my career and my future, this was best, because I got into a bit of a comfort zone in Cape Town – all my friends and family are there – and so when I heard of the opportunity at the Sharks, I thought it was definitely time for something new. I’m really excited about the new opportunity, though – what I’ve seen in these last three weeks makes me realise that this is really something to look forward to.

SW: Did the structures at Western Province make it difficult for a young player to get recognized and progress?
I think the structures at Western Province for developing young players – what with the WP Academy and everything – are very good. Maybe it’s more a case of not often getting a lot of chances to prove yourself. When I got injured, I never really got back into it – I was never really back in favour. They always told me that I was talented, but I never really played! And that’s why I decided to move and start fresh.

SW: Are you primarily a scrumhalf? Is that your preferred position?
: In high school and SA under 19 I played scrumhalf – in fact, pretty much my whole career. So basically – I am a scrumhalf, but I’m a ball player – I can play fullback and I can play flyhalf. I can basically play anything, but my preferred position is scrumhalf.

SW: Do you think it’s a little dangerous to be versatile? That you might end up being branded a “utility player” and be unable to cement a single position?
I don’t really think so – in a team environment, it’s never really dangerous to be able to play more than one position because it’s not just about yourself. Obviously, you’ve got to have a preferred position, but if I get into a situation where the team needs me to help in another position, I’ll be able to do that. I have played fullback and flyhalf and a lot of other stuff too! I think I’m actually quite lucky to be able to play a number of positions!

SW: As a scrumhalf, is there anyone you try to model your game on?
Obviously Fourie du Preez is very good, but I really try and play like Neil de Kock, more or less. He was really a good player to me! I don’t really want to be exactly like anyone else, though – I just want to play my own game.

SW: Do you feel there are any aspects of your game that you could improve at the Sharks?
You can never do enough work on your basics – just your passing and kicking skills – but I’m really looking forward to just playing in the position again. To just settle in and be certain you’re playing one position. I’m really looking forward to playing scrumhalf and improving. I’m really excited, though – It’s really great here so far.

SW: What goals have you set yourself for the 2011 season?
: Obviously I want to improve season by season. For now, I want to settle in at scrumhalf and player Super 15 this season. I’m not saying I want to take any guy’s position or that I expect to be first choice, but I’m definitely here to compete – not just to make up the numbers in the squad.

SW: You’re a goal-kicker as well?
After my hip operation I missed out on a year or so of kicking, but I have kicked for a lot of the teams I’ve played for. Right now, I feel my goal kicking is really up to standard – I’ve been a goal kicker basically since I started playing rugby and that’s definitely something I can use.

SW: What do you think of the style of rugby the Sharks used in the Currie Cup?
I think the exciting style of rugby that they’re playing is something I really enjoy. I think in the Super 15 as the game is developing now, it’s going to get even faster, so I think the Sharks are definitely on track with their game plan and where they are heading. It’s a very open brand of rugby – where you can really express yourself because it’s not over-structured. I’m going to enjoy it!

We’d like to thank Conrad for his time and wish him all the best for his future with the Sharks.


  • Horrible horrible attitude youngster 😈

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.12.10 11:02:29 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 1) : askies?

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.12.10 11:12:41 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Only play Rob

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.12.10 11:16:34 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : You guys made a good signing here, i personally think he was stuffed aroud a bit but maybe im wrong

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.12.10 11:21:12 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 3) : you liddle scamp 🙂

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.12.10 11:21:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Welcome to the Sharks!

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.12.10 11:27:26 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • We now have three very good options at scrum-half. I have a feeling Rory Kockott is going to be back with a vengeance in the S15.

    If only we had the same quality options at center 🙁

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.12.10 11:29:23 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 1) : Thank goodness we got rid of him 😈 🙄

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.12.10 11:32:39 by molly Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • Definitely can teach JLP a thing or two about humility…
    Welcome to the team.

    Gotta wonder what is wrong with WP, not able to keep future stars.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.12.10 11:34:57 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @Just a Fan (Comment 9) : Look, im not Duvenages biggest fan but he hasnt exactly been horrible since being given a chance, like Connie said he spent a fair amount of time injured and then there was the flyhalf experiments.
    Just confused why WP back Schreuder over Conrad

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.12.10 11:38:57 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • Welcome Hoffie

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.12.10 11:39:05 by war1 Reply
  • Has Rory officially signed with the Sharks ?

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.12.10 11:40:09 by tallchap Reply

  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 10) : I think it may be because Schreuder brings leadership as well, maybe they don’t get the same from Conrad. Also, they may be worried about his penchant for injuries.

    I’m def not Duvenhage’s biggest fan, but just because he is better at distributing than Januarie doesn’t mean he’s a good scrumhalf. We shouldn’t set our standard as an out of form/shape Ricky (even though he was better towards the end of the CC).

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.12.10 11:42:52 by molly Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • @molly (Comment 13) : Leadership shmeedership, I think he is bollocks.I must add though that I am basing this un the U/20 WC in which Elton Jantjies was also bollocks and look how that turned out.

    As for the second part of the comment.So very true

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.12.10 11:46:48 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @tallchap (Comment 12) : not to our knowledge… we are following the developments as closely as we can

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.12.10 11:50:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Welcome to a winning team young Hoffman!

    If you really did leave to get out your comfort zone, then well done!

    Making a big change to challenge yourself, and not just because of necessity, is a brave move, and bodes well of you.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.12.10 13:27:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Sounds like a decent guy. I hope he has a very successful time at the Sharks.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.12.10 18:38:23 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Very good prospect…my order of scrumhalves would be
    1. Mcloed
    3.Ross Cronje
    All 4 scrumhalves have a lot of potential..

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.12.10 19:19:16 by mikey Reply

  • @mikey (Comment 18) : cronje before rory??? what planet you from mikey???

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.12.10 20:24:30 by ruggabugga Reply

  • @ruggabugga (Comment 19) : I honestly believe Cronje will be a better option than Rorz

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.12.10 20:36:21 by mikey Reply

  • eish glad to meat u and welcome to sharks i read about this one on one of the sites with this comp thing of SW but really didn’t think i would read it again on SW but welcome :mrgreen: ons gaan nou gat skop aan al die ander provinsies die sharks is bo en wil daar bly
    :mrgreen: GO SHARKS GO :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.12.10 21:09:56 by chaz Reply

  • I,ll give Brian Van Zyl and his minions this, they can unearth talent that isn,t utilised at other provinces they hit and miss alot but they get it right they get is right .

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.12.10 00:39:22 by zvision10 Reply

  • Hoffman seems like a very grounded youngster…I just wonder what his confidence is like. Hope he catches onto the winning vibe soon. I dont envy Plum kaing his scrumhalf picks because there are a lot of options. McCloed has to be number 1 based on his speed and quality of service…then its between Hoffman and Kockett for the number 2 spot and I have a feeling Hoffman may get the nod based on his utility. As a thought- I wouldnt mind seeing Kockett give the number 10 a go in a few Sharks XV games and see if he can be used as a utility too.

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.12.10 08:35:19 by SheldonK Reply

  • @mikey (Comment 20) : will be being the phrase here,but to me rory seems more natural ,ross seems too awkward,but i like him though.

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.12.10 08:52:02 by ruggabugga Reply

  • Rich are you around??

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.12.10 08:52:44 by ruggabugga Reply

  • @ruggabugga (Comment 25) :

    Yeah I am in and out.. Whats up?

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.12.10 09:01:16 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Nice interview.
    Welcome Conrad, I hope you play to your potential and realise your goals.

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.12.10 11:28:12 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @SheldonK (Comment 23) : I`ve got a feeling Rory might get the nod because of his kicking.

    Hoffman will probably start at 13 with Stefan at 15 ?

    I can`t remember Hoffman`s defence though which is worrying . ..

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.12.10 19:09:07 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • sheez, i see why conrad plays rugby…his spelling is shocking. 😈

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.12.10 07:55:54 by try time Reply

  • 😆

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.12.10 08:31:33 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @try time (Comment 29) : spelling can be fixed. Being a dick, on the other hand, is a condition one will be stuck with for life.

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.12.10 10:38:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) :
    😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.12.10 11:12:22 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Original Champion (Comment 28) : Did you forget about Ludick?? He seems to be the best option in the fullback spot.

    Hoffman has stated his desire to play scrumhalf and is willing to work for it. Let him fight it out there with McLeod and Kockott, the competition there can only be good for McLeod and Kockott. If it is needed then let him play in other backline positions.

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.12.10 13:02:08 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • I like Hoffman and I like the way he plays. I look forward to see him in a Sharks jersey!

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.12.10 13:35:17 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author

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