Interview with hard man Anton Bresler

Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content on 10 Aug 2015 at 09:23
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

You could hear a little bit of a Scottish feel to his accent. A player that fits into the phrase; “started from the bottom now I’m here!”

While he may despute having got anywhere near his full potential, you get the feeling that this is a player that appreciates every single bit of success that has come his way. Anton Bresler beams about the privilege he has been afforded of playing with a countless stars at the Sharks and Edinburgh with a list including Tendai Mtawarira, Willem Alberts, Bismarck du Plessis, Tom Brown, David Denton, Ross Ford and the list goes on. You can say he has had a distinct three chapters in his career that he absolutely loves and embraces… We hear from Anton Bresler on some captivating topics!

Hi Anton, how are you?
Good thanks man.

Born in Namibia, bred in Durban and playing in Scotland! Do you have any more destinations in mind? Are you thinking of playing international rugby?
This week I will be here for a year and I have thoroughly enjoyed my move down to Scotland. I play with a great bunch of players who have been very welcoming and they are my family now. I am enjoying my time now and looking to just focus on Edinburgh. Being a South African boy I would have loved to play for the Springboks obviously, but if a door to play for Scotland one day does open up I will not turn it down. At the moment I will focus on just Edinburgh, I mean it’s a good two seasons until I am eligible to play for Scotland and I won’t get carried away about this. I am hoping to take it step by step and let everything else follow; focus on the now and not think too far. Bring on the 2015/2016!

How is the rugby in Edinburgh? Have you adapted well to the Scottish culture?
From my point of view I battled, I mean it was a tough first half of the season and I was far from the level I expected from myself. I improved massively in the second half of the season. It’s a completely different game in all aspects and I had to adapt. While you are dealing with explosive and a lot more athletic players down south, up here you have bigger and at times stronger players who play slightly different. While it is believed to be quicker in the southern hemisphere; on a dry day here, any side will make you run as the Welsh and Irish sides mostly can throw the ball around the park.

You are going into your second season now, what are you looking to achieve?
We have managed to build up some serious depth in the squad, and as a team we are hoping to make the Champions Cup. We as a group want to play in the Champions Cup which is one of the best tournaments in the world. From my point of view I am looking to continue learning from the coaches and from the boys here. I am fitter, stronger and in better shape this season. This will play a big part in me having a great season.

You came from a relatively small rugby academy and you became an ever-present for the Sharks! What drove you?
I managed to attend Zululand Rugby Academy for my under 19 year. I enjoyed the fact that it was a small knit group which got us to have a stronger bond as players and staff. There was a personal relationship within the set up with the coaches which allowed us to get that extra bit of attention. It made it a lot easier as a player and contributed to a better development pathway as a player and a man. The environment was positive and the group enjoyed each other’s company and it was a driving force going forward especially having to set short term goals at every stage. I would aim to play Under-19, Under-21, etc. As a player you would keep setting the bar higher for yourself.

You became a YouTube sensation with the ‘Beast’ rescuing you from several possible falls. What happened to have that happen not only once, but twice?
I won’t even lie to you Bennie, it happened more than ten times at sessions and in the games you know. I mean it’s more mistiming of the ball on my part than anything. You will be trying to anticipate where the ball will land and you get it wrong. It was good to have a guy like Beast lifting you (chuckles)!

How do you compare the Pro12 and the Champions Cup with the Currie Cup and Super Rugby?
It’s all different and it’s a matter of strength and physicality mostly here. We have that aspect of the game that suits the weather. It is not as fast as the boys down south but they pack some mighty hits. Do not get me wrong, the quality is quite high here and it is really just playing to the strengths of the players and adapting to the myriad of weather conditions.

You are a tough as nails player who plays rugby the hard way. How is it you are a huge fan of Justin Bieber?
(a very loud laugh) I will be honest with you, when he came out I was like this boy is special. I am open to any music that is good, as long as it gets to me. I am just fond of that kind of music that gives me that pump; that drive.

On his favourite Bieber track?
I can’t pick one specific track they too many, I could probably say “Baby” is quite catchy tune and also the most recent one “Where are you now”, a track the Canadian features in.

Proudest Sharks moment?
In 2010 when we won the Currie Cup at Kings Park, I can talk about my first try against the Brumbies and the majestic moment of making my Sharks debut. There have been so many memories and I appreciate every single one of them.

How is married life and do you still is have your trade mark hair style of a mullet?
I think getting married to Kelly is one of the best decisions that I have ever done and it is great. Looking at moving to Scotland also makes our new adventure as a couple even more intriguing because we get to learn more about each other in an unfamiliar place. Mullet?? I don’t think I ever had that. I just had long hair and I tie it up now.

What advice would you offer to youngsters that are aspiring to play rugby as professionals, especially boys that never made Craven Week or went to A-grade schools?
Enjoyment. If you don’t have a passion, a drive, or that fire burning inside you that gets you aiming high everything else is misplaced. You need to love the game first and then work towards everything else. You may have lots of talent but if you also don’t work hard it will all fall away and it will not be enough.

What was your first Scottish adventure? What are your favourite sights?
I haven’t been to many places but I must admit I enjoyed being at the Open at St Andrews. I mean although it was the windy day I enjoyed it and had the privilege of seeing some of the best golfers in the world. I walked on the Swilcan Burn Bridge as well which has seen golf legends grace it. The islands and villages are so much more beautiful in person than they are on TV.

Have you worn a kilt yet?
I have not hey, I keep telling the Edinburgh boys that I want it custom made and I want to go get a few made but they think I’m pulling a leg you know (chuckles).

Thanks Anton!
Thanks man!!

Kelly Bresler on Anton- “Anton is a humble person. He loves to chat to strangers, a good joke and he will always find a way to tease me or someone at any chance he gets (in a good way). Anton is a kid in an adult’s body. It takes a lot for him to get mad. He hates long walks or any physical activity when he is off the rugby field; but will have a coffee, sweet treats and IF I allow some Xbox!”


  • Thanks Benedict! We miss you Anton…

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.08.15 10:57:34 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • He comes across as just a bloody good bloke.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.08.15 11:52:54 by MikeSebMatt Reply

  • @MikeSebMatt (Comment 2) : Agreed, and seriously honest to boot. I mean a lock admitting he is a Biebs fan….

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.08.15 12:51:24 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 3) : 😯

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.08.15 13:25:43 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • 🙂 :mrgreen: An absolute legend frankly! Nicest guy out there. When on the park, you dont see no such … #hardlock

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.08.15 13:38:57 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • Nice one. All the best for your future Anton. We miss you.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.08.15 13:54:26 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • A question I would have asked is if he ever intended to return to the Sharks?

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.08.15 15:47:52 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 7) : he is focussing on Edinburgh probably look to see how it goes in the next two years. IMO.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.08.15 16:25:41 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 8) : yeah. I asked him a while ago and it’s definitely not on his agenda to come back in the near term.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.08.15 18:14:14 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Good luck boet and hope you make it big over there!!!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.08.15 18:31:13 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 3) : That is…like…almost too honest!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.08.15 15:16:07 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator

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