It’s not often said nor is it often realised, but it’s patently clear that the true strength of a club lies not in the results of the 1st XV, but rather in the results of the rest of the club. For Villager FC this year, the “Right Reasons” motif extended far beyond the 1st XV, laying the platform to allow teams such as the 2nd XV to be able to claim their own SLB title in 2014.
Under the astute guidance of Lups Tuswa and Phil Quma as coaches and ably assisted by George Winekus as backline coach, Rob O’Grady as manager and Nick Burger as Biokineticist, the 2nd XV this were more than capably looked after this year. With Tuswa and Quma having been in the game a while, Tuswa at the UCT u20 Trojans and Quma as a player/coach/legend with the Nadoes, their experience, personality and fondness for a beer ensured the second’s spirit became second to none this year. And their results proved it.
The second team can often be one of the hardest teams to coach and manage, with half believing they are good enough to play firsts and the other half having already having played firsts at some stage, the seconds can become a team of disgruntled players very quickly. However with astute player management and the right amount of “gees”, the seconds can become one of the most potent teams in any club. And a strong second team equals a strong first team.
With their unique practice sessions started most of the time with the latest in coaching innovation that combined Rugby with Soccer, “Soccby”, quickly became a firm favourite with the team. Together with Soccby, practices were often intense but fun, and with a hugely young squad this was not only a nice to have, but extremely necessary. With the only regular veteran being Gerry Pederson, the youth in the side could have been an issue however with the right amount of fun and seriousness, the seconds burst out of the blocks right from the get go.
The second’s results this year were not surprising when one considers the potential of many of the players that consistently made up the squad. When one looks at the makeup of the 1st XV against Sir Lowrians this past weekend, you would have been mistaken in thinking the seconds were playing. With 2nd XV regulars Jarred Stokes, Neil du Toit, Geoff van Ryneveldt and Luke Westgarth Taylor making considerable contributions on Saturday, the strength of the club this year is blatantly obvious. This fact becomes even more obvious when players such as Tim Marsh, Christo Terblanche and Oupa Williams were all not part of the original 1st XV squad at the start of the year.
For the 1st XV to be able to still win the league with the amount of injuries they have suffered this year goes to show that Head Coach Gunner Hughes was exactly right when he took over at the start of the year. His three year plan focused around building depth first and foremost before any promotion ambitions were realised. However with the influx of players the club experienced this year, the plan was fast tracked; however the fact remains that any club wanting to consistently achieve results needs to pay more attention to those at the bottom of the club rather than those at the top.
To prove this and in keeping with the “Right Reasons” philosophy the club adopted at the start of this year, each team from u20 to 1st XV each had a manager, coach/es, biokineticists or physios, access to the club doctor on Monday evenings as well as on Saturdays. Together with the support staff, each team received the same top up meals before games as the 1st XV which included muffins, bananas and jelly sweets. While each team were also provided with warm up shirts courtesy of club sponsors ESET, which were washed each week by the club. Although not perfect as yet, the mere fact that each team were provided the self-same treatment as the 1st XV, barring the away bus trips, is testament to the clubs decision to return amateur.
If you take all the above into consideration it becomes clear that the seconds had everything going in their favour to win the league. When Lups Tuswa was pressed as to why his team finished the year with the title he simply put it down to gees. “We won this year because each and every individual in the seconds were there for the Right Reasons. There was no animosity about how much the firsts were earning nor about the special treatment they often receive,” he says. “At Villager this year it was so easy to build club spirit when everyone is on the same page. If my guys have to buy their own strapping then so does the firsts. If you think about that it becomes clear as to why we both won the league.”
“Although there were guys who wanted to play first team or were disappointed at being dropped, I honestly believe the seconds now realise that it was all worth it when looking back at the year,” Tuswa continued. “I am so proud of the guys for keeping their focus on winning the league as a second team; it is easy to lose sight of the teams goals when individual ambitions become more important.”
With players of considerable potential already in the team as well as a great management team, Tuswa believes they will be able to continue their growth as a team next year in the SLA. “If we look at how Hamiltons beat us this year we have some serious work to do if we are to continue growing as a team, but with so many young players in the squad who I believe will eventually become the core of the 1st XV, I am extremely positive we can do it,” He said.
Villager FC would like to thank and congratulate Lups Tuswa, Phil Quma, George Winekus, Rob O’Grady and Nick Burger for their efforts this year with the seconds. At the same time the club would also like to thank the players for their exemplary performances this year, and congratulate them on winning the league title.
A big THANK YOU to the players who played for the seconds this year:
Gerry Pederson, Jonny Sweetnam, Jamie Kaiser, LT Stamper, Eddie Ntaka, Aya Jolobe, Ant Moss, Payden Viviers, Devon Fester, Lionel Makiwane, Jarrod Amon, Oupa Williams, Angelo Petersen, Kwaks Ngwanya, Louis Gabriel, Ziyaad Fredericks, Zubayr Abrahams, Tim Marsh, Wanye Van Niekerk, Chad Henson, Geoff van Ryneveldt, Jarred Stokes, David Coombes, Emihle Baneti, Jamie Marinus, Iftigaar Evans, Biggie Ntokonya, George Diamantopoulos, Luke Westgarth Taylor, Ryan Massyn, Jade du Plessis, Donny Venter, Ryan Bezuidenhout, Mpumelelo Pepeteka, Brent McDougall, Faan Basson, Chadwick Peterson, Neil du Toit, Cieran Fitzgerald, Lester Philander, Nick Woods, Sean Fitzpatrick, Christo Terblanche, Daniel Anderson, Liam Warren, Kurt Kuhn, Nick Hale, Cameron Vinokur
Seconds 2014 Moments
[tb_results limit=”0″ comp=”23″ season=”47″ club=”6″ order=”ASC” linktext=”View all results” title=”2nd XV League Results”]