Villie

Importance of a youth structure


Written by (Villie)

Posted in :Original Content on 1 Jul 2011 at 12:52
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In this professional era when unions compete with each other to lure the best players to their province, is it still necessary to have a youth structure in place?

Let’s not kid anyone – money talks loudest and loyalty is a lot rarer than in the so called “amateur” days.

I’d argue that a strong Youth structure/academy is essential for a union if they wish to remain/reach the top of the tree and consistently challenge for the major honours. It’s also something that generates excitement amongst the supporters as their is nothing better for the fans than to unearth a gem, with a genuine love for his hometown team, who can be the backbone of the team for years to come. Pat Lambie is a good example. It’s great for the fans when they see either local talent or talent that has been developed, emerging and forcing their way into the senior setup.

There is also a financial benefit for the union, as producing home grown talent or developing talent acquired at a young age reduces the necessity to sign-up established stars on inflated salaries or acquiring mercenary players only after the best pay package.

Developing your own players through a well structured academy system builds a culture of pride, belonging and loyalty as well as helping to forge a closer team harmony and camaraderie. One of the most significant benefits is the ability to train the youth and bring them through in a uniformed culture and playing style. This enables all junior teams to replicate the game plan of the senior first fifteen, allowing for continuity and smooth progression through the ranks. It allows a youngster to slot in seamlessly should they be needed to step up into the senior squad.

The Bulls are an excellent example of this, all their teams play a similar style and structure and it makes it so much easier for players to make the step up.

My final point is that a strong and good academy structure with a clear path through to the first team, makes it a lot more attractive for the cream of the junior crop. If they see a healthy number of young players being given their opportunity in the big leagues (Currie Cup and Super 15), they are inclined to favour that union. Nothing demoralises a youngster more than knowing their path to the top will be blocked no matter how well they perform and that they won’t be given a fair opportunity to prove their worth.


98 Comments

  • You first start by attracting youth with a new Sharkie…then the rest all follows. 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.07.11 12:53:56 by waje Reply
     
  • @waje (Comment 1) : LOL… ok, but seriously now.

    This is a very good article. It actually reduces the workload on the senior coach, because he’s not having to start from scratch every year with a completely new bunch of players who don’t know the systems or how to play the game…

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.07.11 13:02:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • The Bulls are an excellent example of this, all their teams play a similar style and structure and it makes it so much easier for players to make the step up” :mrgreen: Nice

    The bulls are a well oiled machine and a very professional outfit it took Heyneke Meyer 7 years :mrgreen: 😆 to put us out of our misery…we now have good structures in place..yes we are in a transition but compared to the dark days of bulls rugby…we possess some of the countries top young talent thanks to our smart recruitment system…things will be alot easier..At the age of 32 i think Pine Pienaar is one the the best young coaches in South Africa he knows how to get the best out of young players free state cheetahs will miss him he means business….like he said the days of twitter and tweets are over :mrgreen: We will work together as a family to implement our new structures watch out the powers up there are 👿 we want to win the super 15..and currie cup again. 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.07.11 13:08:36 by Muzi Reply

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  • Now the million dollar question is…

    How does the Sharks setup relate to what has been said above?

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.07.11 13:13:11 by Morné Reply
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  • Does any body know how the Sharks u/21 team looks, playing the Pumas u/21 tommorrow in Nelspruit?

    Just saw Nonu signed with the Blues 😛 😆

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.07.11 13:22:24 by Reebok Reply

     
  • @Morné (Comment 4) : It relates in the same way that I am related to Kevin Bacon – very, very, very distantly!

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.07.11 13:23:29 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Reebok (Comment 5) : Did you see our bulls under 21 side it’s an experiement one…we still missing the venters…arno botha’s…good depth

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.07.11 13:26:15 by Muzi Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 4) : Tenuously

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.07.11 13:30:14 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Reebok (Comment 5) : I’m trying to get the team…

    All I know so far is that Willie du Plessis is at 10.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.07.11 13:33:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Morne: as rob noted in a previous artcle,our player retention has been shocking at the sharks.when you lose talented youngsters like barrit,steyn,murray(centres),rhodes and a player of ruan pienaar’s skill,then you are going to feel it.also add bj botha and butch and johann muller to the group.and butch james.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.07.11 13:35:05 by bergshark Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 4) : let’s count how many players in each team’s respective 22s actually came through their youth structures.

    I make it 17/22 for the Stormers…

    Now for the SHarks…

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.07.11 13:36:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : 9/22

    So almost twice as many Stormers players came up through their own ranks as Sharks players.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.07.11 13:40:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : Shocking from the professional sharks academy 😕

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.07.11 13:42:11 by Muzi Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : bulls 15/22

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.07.11 13:42:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Nice

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.07.11 13:42:37 by Muzi Reply

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  • @Muzi (Comment 15) : the more important stat, I think, is the percentage of players from each u21 squad that go on to play senior rugby for the team within hte next 3-4 years.

    I’ll get working on that now

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.07.11 13:48:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Sweet

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.07.11 13:52:46 by Muzi Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : I wish I could understand the root cause of our reluctance to back our youth; it’s not as if we haven’t had success – Beast, Keegan, Hoff, Pienaar, Barrit, Murray, JPP are quick examples off the top of my head.

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.07.11 14:04:40 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : holy crap, this is a big task

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.07.11 14:12:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • of the 137 players that have played u21 rugby for the Sharks between 2007 – 2010, only 6 are current members of the Sharks Super Rugby squad… while two of those (Bresler and Chadwick) aren’t all that close to the first-choice 22

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.07.11 14:21:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • that leaves 4 players (Lambie, Mvovo, Hargreaves and Herbst) as the only ones who have made the step up from under 21 rugby to the senior side within 4 years…

    4/137 = 2.9%

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.07.11 14:23:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • of those 137 players, 10 are still under 21 this year and hold junior contracts. There are an additional 14 players who are currently contracted to the Sharks as seniors.

    Essentially, of those 137, only 24 (17.5%) still hold Sharks contracts today

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.07.11 14:25:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • of those 137, 22 have made at least 1 appearance in Currie Cup or Super Rugby for the Sharks.

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.07.11 14:47:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) :

    Those are some very interesting stats you got there!! 😯

    oh and thanks Villie for a good article!

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.07.11 14:47:43 by wpw Reply
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  • Thanks Rob and Villie, the little credibility the Sharks still had in my eyes after this morning’s inbred halfwit mascot fiasco has now also upped and left the building… 😆

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.07.11 15:03:47 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Boet that is shocking no matter which way you look at it.

    Would the Sharks know this?

    Do they care?

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.07.11 15:04:33 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : I don’t know.

    I’ve been doing some digging, of course, but I need to be careful how much I reveal here.

    Let’s just say that there’s a disjoint between the senior coaches and the age group ranks. A definite “not on the same pageness” that makes it very difficult for the seniors coaches to feel they can back and trust what comes up through the junior ranks,

    And a LOT of it has to do with structures like Villie identified in his post

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.07.11 15:10:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good work Villie.

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.07.11 15:10:32 by beet Reply
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  • @Muzi (Comment 17) : have you got the WP u19 squad? I know a Kearsney player Seals made it.

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.07.11 15:12:23 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : Rob, of the 137, how many have made it big with other Unions since leaving the Sharks junior ranks?

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.07.11 15:14:39 by beet Reply
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  • So this begs my next question. Who is responsible for the academy recruitment at the Sharks? And are they on the same page as Plum and Rudolf? Also does not reflect positively on the coaching at the academy.

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.07.11 15:20:31 by Villie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) :

    Rob,

    For years this has been my biggest criticism of WP rugby. This took a turn for the best when certain business structures got implemented, most important, Rassie moving to DOR position and becoming directly involved with the junior structures.

    The snowball effect from this is that the divide that once existed between junior and senior rugby almost immediately disappeared, as now you had someone that looked after both interests – importantly, this guy is also in charge of recruitment.

    Now also consider the new Bulls structures announced Wednesday, have a look how they streamlined their approach.

    Compare all of this with what you see at the Sharks (Lions are a shamble and Cheetahs are very small in comparison to the 3 in question here) and tell me its working?

    Like I said, I put 99% of WP’s failures in the last decade at the door of this very subject – since that changed, they reached 2 major finals, in their 3rd major semi-final this Saturday in less than a year…

    Call me simplistic, but this is so damn obvious.

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.07.11 15:21:06 by Morné Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 30) : good question… I’m on it

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.07.11 15:29:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 31) : the Academy takes in 2 kinds of boys… some are junior contracted players scouted out for the SHarks by the likes of Straeuli. The vast majority, though, are boys whose parents are paying for them to attend.

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.07.11 15:31:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 32) : I agree with you

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.07.11 15:33:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 30) : only 18 of those players are currently semi-regular starters for other seniors teams… most of them leopards/pumas. 2 of them are overseas.

    Not a big number either.

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.07.11 15:38:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • I would go as far as to say that the importance of incorporating any youth structure into the hollistic structures of a union is of far greater importance than just having a good youth program or academy in place.

    For instance, the Cheetahs rely on one thing only for youth development – Grey.

    That is their youth program in a nutshell.

    Their problem is more retaining talent due to lack of funds than effort because they integrate their youth into senior rugby far easier and with more success than most.

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.07.11 15:38:32 by Morné Reply
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  • Good piece Villie.

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.07.11 15:39:14 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 32) : Very interesting. The Sharks model is a bit different to that of WP tho. For a start we don’t have Paarl Gym, HJS, PRG or Bishops to draw from.

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.07.11 15:40:19 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 30) : That answer will reveal lots.

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.07.11 15:40:30 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : Any bigger teams than the Pumas/Leopards?

  • Comment 41, posted at 01.07.11 15:41:46 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 39) : HJS?

  • Comment 42, posted at 01.07.11 15:42:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 39) :

    WP had those schools all along, they still sucked at retaining and developing it up till recently.

  • Comment 43, posted at 01.07.11 15:45:16 by Morné Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : Paarl BHS, Boishaai, die Galpille. It’s the schools Afr name. Stands for Hoer Jongenskool

  • Comment 44, posted at 01.07.11 15:46:19 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 39) :

    Dude, its not our fault you guys don’t have as many good rugby schools in your region!! 🙄

  • Comment 45, posted at 01.07.11 15:47:07 by wpw Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 44) :

    I also think the point Rob made is not so much having the numbers, it is how those numbers never see the light of day in senio CC and Super Rugby.

  • Comment 46, posted at 01.07.11 15:47:45 by Morné Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : Paarl Boys High / Hoër Jongenskool Paarl.

  • Comment 47, posted at 01.07.11 15:47:52 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 41) : the biggest one is the Lions… but not one recent Sharks age-group player has gone on to make it big with WP or the Bulls

    Cilliers, Whiteley and Rhodes with the Lions and Downey with Griquas are about the only ones.

    Add to that Spedding with Brive and Swannie with Clermont.

  • Comment 48, posted at 01.07.11 15:48:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 43) : WP were perhaps guilty of quality pushing players out. Our big challenge is pulling quality players in.

    Not many talented kids grow up with the dream of representing the Sharks. This makes recruitment that much tougher.

  • Comment 49, posted at 01.07.11 15:49:30 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 44) : @Salmonoid (Comment 47) : Sorry, already answered.

  • Comment 50, posted at 01.07.11 15:49:32 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 49) :

    You think?

    I would reckon the Sharks is quite an attractive brand actually.

  • Comment 51, posted at 01.07.11 15:51:59 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 46) : exactly… the Academy attracts more than enough GOOD schoolboy players to the region and our local club scene is the strongest in the country as a result of this influx.

    The issue seems to be, though, that of the hundreds that pass through the doors, a ridiculously small number go on to achieve anything much beyond first team club rugby once they leave the junior ranks.

    I think we’ve just hit the nail on the head here, haven’t we? The statistic about hardly any of them being picked up for senior rugby with other top sides is telling.

    That said, Heynecke Meyer seems to have a bit of a penchant for Sharks Academy grads and has pulled quite a lot of them into the Tuks ranks. We could see the likes of Horse Dunlop and Nqubeko Zulu feature for the Bulls this Currie Cup… both have been named in a Bulls warmup team to play at Loftus against the Pumas today.

  • Comment 52, posted at 01.07.11 15:52:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 46) : I think your conversion no improve if you’re able to attract quality.

  • Comment 53, posted at 01.07.11 15:52:55 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : All those guys have had their opportunities with the Sharks though and did not go on to cement their spots. Are any of them better than the current incumbents, if not have the Sharks lost out in any way? Swannie maight be back, maybe we can reposes the Lions guys.

  • Comment 54, posted at 01.07.11 15:54:14 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 45) : Wes… nobody has yet attacked you or WP on this thread in any way. In fact, the tone is one of admiration for what WP have achieved and trying to figure out how the Sharks could catch up.

    Would you mind NOT attacking people for no reason, just this once? Thanks 🙂

  • Comment 55, posted at 01.07.11 15:54:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 52) : But Rob, doesn’t that just suggest that we had the depth which the Bulls didn’t have and therefore recruited from us. Doesn’t say much for their youth programme.

  • Comment 56, posted at 01.07.11 15:56:18 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 55) :

    If that is an attack then i dont know anymore!! 🙄

  • Comment 57, posted at 01.07.11 16:01:56 by wpw Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 54) : Cilliers and Rhodes were, I felt, dumped for reasons not solely related to their rugby.

    If a guy like Whiteley had stepped up, perhaps we wouldn’t have had to bring in the likes of Deysel and Alberts, though. Downey is a bit of a different case… he was there, in the senior squad for 3 years and simply never picked to play.

  • Comment 58, posted at 01.07.11 16:03:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 56) : I think that if you got inside Meyer’s head, you’d find a very real concern that the Bulls might have taken their eyes off the ball a little in his time away and not done quite as well as they should have.

    They’re also sitting with a bunch of youngsters there that didn’t quite pass muster, hence the attempt to backfill via Tukkies. But they’re identified that and corrected it, whereas I feel we’re still sitting with our hands over our eyes and ears.

  • Comment 59, posted at 01.07.11 16:05:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) : wes… when did beet ever say anything was your fault?

  • Comment 60, posted at 01.07.11 16:06:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 53) : attracting quality is one thing, but all inputs need to be developed further.

    A youth programme, to my mind, is not just about hauling out the chequebook to buy the entire SA Schools 22 each year and expecting them to all develop into quality 22-year-olds a few years later.

  • Comment 61, posted at 01.07.11 16:08:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) : wpw, if I can elaborate, my point about the schools is that WP have a lot of talented youngsters who grow up with the dream of representing Province (I didn’t even mention the 2 top varsities) so to me it seems like it’s a given that you guys have a much higher statistical success rate than the Sharks at converting juniors into senior players.

    It’s a mission convincing a talented Afrikaans player from Paarl or Bosch to come to Durban when everything he’s ever dreamed of is right at his doorstep.

  • Comment 62, posted at 01.07.11 16:10:18 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 62) : Sorry “Bosch” might mean Rondebosch, it was meant to be Stellenbosch.

  • Comment 63, posted at 01.07.11 16:11:20 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : @beet (Comment 62) : Do you guys still have the flyhalf from Maties hanging around?

  • Comment 64, posted at 01.07.11 16:16:24 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : Rob, you are 100% correct. I’m just saying that if we had the feeder system of WP, given our existing youth structures we probably wouldn’t have had to import a single senior player. We’d be exporters of surplus talent.

  • Comment 65, posted at 01.07.11 16:18:56 by beet Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 64) : which one is that?

  • Comment 66, posted at 01.07.11 16:20:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 65) : I’m not convinced, beet (with respect).

    My current feeling is that we’re turning schoolboy stars into club players, rather than the other way round.

  • Comment 67, posted at 01.07.11 16:20:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 66) : His name escapes me.

  • Comment 68, posted at 01.07.11 16:23:29 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 68) : Is it Hans Scriba, in which case the answer would be yes :mrgreen:

  • Comment 69, posted at 01.07.11 16:24:56 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 69) : oh ja… him of the 97 Natal – British Lions Match fame

  • Comment 70, posted at 01.07.11 16:26:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 65) : Jurgen Visser will get a bulls contract besides ulrich beyers and blommetjies he is the best full back in Pretoria….

  • Comment 71, posted at 01.07.11 16:27:05 by Muzi Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 67) : Our success rate at turning club stars into schoolboys has been zero, so I’m not with you on this one :mrgreen:

    Jokes. There’s no harm in expressing one’s opinion in a constructive manner.

  • Comment 72, posted at 01.07.11 16:27:24 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 70) : The bulls identified that some junior players are not stepping up hence the dunlops..groepes…and vissers are getting a chance to play currie cup…

  • Comment 73, posted at 01.07.11 16:28:29 by Muzi Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 70) : I actually remember Hans playing a few games at 10 for WP once upon a time. He was a nippy little player.

  • Comment 74, posted at 01.07.11 16:29:24 by beet Reply
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  • @Muzi (Comment 73) : WP u19 squad?

  • Comment 75, posted at 01.07.11 16:30:05 by beet Reply
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  • @Muzi (Comment 73) : I watched the Klofies Grey Bloem highlights last night. Man were those Waterkloof forwards big. They even worked Neethling and Rudolph Botha in the scrum. I’m not surprised they beat us 36-3.

  • Comment 76, posted at 01.07.11 16:33:28 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 75) : :mrgreen: i do not have the wp under 19 squad and to make matters worse i am currently in war with wp bloggers in that rugby365 website alot of paarl parents lol..i want nothing to do concerning that brigade dwon there :mrgreen:

  • Comment 77, posted at 01.07.11 16:34:09 by Muzi Reply

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  • Sorry for ‘attacking’ you beet. It was not my intention! 😳

  • Comment 78, posted at 01.07.11 16:35:16 by wpw Reply
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  • @Muzi (Comment 77) : Ja, you missed the comeback line the other day – “when the Bulls win trophies, no one asks what school they played for”

  • Comment 79, posted at 01.07.11 16:36:39 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 7Xander Jv Rensburg the bulls junior scout rates the grey college VIP centre pairing VERY highly.

  • Comment 80, posted at 01.07.11 16:37:51 by Muzi Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 78) : Honestly Wes. I never saw it as one. 🙂
    I love KZN SBR but I can’t say I’m not a bit jealous of what you guys have down there by way of schoolboy talent either. 😥

  • Comment 81, posted at 01.07.11 16:39:29 by beet Reply
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  • @Muzi (Comment 80) : Who doesn’t. The question is who does he rate more highly Serfontein or Swanepoel.

  • Comment 82, posted at 01.07.11 16:41:28 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 81) : Dries Swanepoel and Serfontein will go to the sharks me thinks 🙁

  • Comment 83, posted at 01.07.11 16:41:30 by Muzi Reply

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  • @beet (Comment 82) : He said that they will both make the right decision 😕

  • Comment 84, posted at 01.07.11 16:44:22 by Muzi Reply

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  • How will you ever know if the youngsters are better than the incumbents if you never see them?

    Look in the last year at WP…

    Elstadt, Koster, Schreuder, Van Aswegen, Coleman, Lionel Cronje, Sadie, Poolman, Engelbrecht, etc.

    (I am sure I missed a few guys there too).

    These are all laaities given a shot at CC and Super Rugby level in the last year, all coming through the age groups and Vodacom Cup.

  • Comment 85, posted at 01.07.11 17:44:45 by Morné Reply
    Author
    Morné
     
  • It is also not a question of quality or numbers.

    How do you explain the Cheetahs? I am sure if we do the same exercise the conversion rate from schoolboy to age group and then senior rugby will be much better than the Sharks.

    A rugby team only has 22 players, having 500 to choose from might not always be a benefit than having 250 to choose from.

  • Comment 86, posted at 01.07.11 17:51:22 by Morné Reply
    Author
    Morné
     
  • @Morné (Comment 86) : especially if you’re not giving the best ones individual attention

  • Comment 87, posted at 01.07.11 18:03:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylan
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 87) :

    Correct.

    But all this Rob comes back to coaching structures yet again doesn’t it?

    Again none of us are saying the guys in the union are bad coaches, it is how the setup as a whole operate and how they compliment (and in this case clearly don’t) one another.

  • Comment 88, posted at 01.07.11 18:07:57 by Morné Reply
    Author
    Morné
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : It is a very good article.

    @robdylan (Comment 20) : @robdylan (Comment 21) : @robdylan (Comment 22) :
    Shocking stat! However there is another way to look at this. Maybe the Sharks just don’t have the same pool of talent as the other unions??

  • Comment 89, posted at 01.07.11 18:35:19 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    Author
    The Sharks Sharkie
     
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 89) : Thanks for the compliment regarding the article :mrgreen:

    With regards to the Pool of talent, we might not have as much quality in our Natal schools but a lot of the Natal youngsters are signed from the top rugby playing schools around the country. The Sharks is definitely an attractive proposition for schoolboys.

  • Comment 90, posted at 01.07.11 19:38:07 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
    Villie
     
  • The lack of a good rugby playing University in Natal is also a significant disadvantage. Somewhere like Maties is a very attractive proposition for a young player hoping to take rugby seriously after school.

  • Comment 91, posted at 01.07.11 19:40:52 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
    Villie
     
  • @Villie (Comment 90) : Then it is sad to think that we aren’t honouring the youth in our squad. Maybe that is why we don’t have any depth at center or flyhalf (until recently) and have to constantly buy (or poach) players from the Cheetahs, Lions and other respective unions.

    Willem Alberts, Meyer Bosman, Louis Ludik – all regular starts in the Super Rugby season – are from other SA unions. Fredric Michalak is all the way from France. There are a number of other players as well (too many to count).

  • Comment 92, posted at 01.07.11 19:43:23 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    Author
    The Sharks Sharkie
     
  • Nice one Ville.

    I wonder if a further problem is not perhaps the sheer size of the youth groups – maybe we would be better off accepting that we don’t have the Western Cape talent pool, and adopting the Aussie approach to identifying and significantly investing in a small number of players.

    Its certainly helped the Convicts make the most of a very shallow talent pool.

  • Comment 93, posted at 01.07.11 20:40:08 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big Fish
     
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 92) : Good article Villie, Sharks Sharkie i have to agree with you that we are not honouring our young boys, who does the selection for the Sharks Academy. In my opinion and experience it is not run well at all. I suppose in the end it is easier to pouch from other unions, rather than invest in home grown talent.

  • Comment 94, posted at 01.07.11 22:36:08 by DebsH Reply

     
  • @BigFish: which begs the question:do we have the coaches in the sharks set-up (across all levels) to do that?I’m not sure:-(

  • Comment 95, posted at 01.07.11 22:49:26 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • @The Sharks Sharkie: habana ,j fourie are all from schools in the lions region.duane vermeulen is,I believe ,a player from mpumalanga schools region.conrad jantjes also from lions schools region.paul grant is maritzburg college.schalk burger was born in pe.cj vd linde from free state.tiaan liebenberg isn’t a home grown wp talent(griquas/fs ?).I’m sure andries bekker’s dad,hennie,was from free state.wii check that quickly.

  • Comment 96, posted at 01.07.11 22:55:38 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • Tiaan libenberg from grey college,brok harris from bastiontlions schools region),wickus blaauw (upington hs_ griquas).first choice stormers front row not from weepee schools.

  • Comment 97, posted at 01.07.11 23:03:38 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 97) : All unions buy, but a lot more of the Stormers boys are actually stormers boys! Personally I think if the union gets the players at the u19 or u21 level (from elsewhere in the country) and develop them until they reach the senior side, I still think they can be termed as being from that area as they progressed through the age group levels and weren’t bought after they became recognised players.

  • Comment 98, posted at 02.07.11 10:13:48 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    Author
    The Sharks Sharkie
     

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