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Madibaz will 'keep building'

After two encouraging seasons, FNB NMMU Madibaz coach David Maidza wants his side to take the next step in the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.


The last two seasons have seen the Eastern Cape side knocked out by consecutive one-point away semifinals defeats, so their sights are set firmly on doing everything they can to reach their first final next year.


Maidza believes that the key will be consistency in what is sure to be yet another demanding season.


"We have built something and we want to carry on building.


"We are excited about what lies ahead, the standards have been set in the last two years and we do not want to drop them. We will keep fighting to ensure we get into that final," he told varsitycup.co.za.


Maidza has two exciting new assistant coaches this year in former EP Kings players Barend Pieterse and Tiger Mangweni.


Pieterse has been involved in the Kings' coaching structures since he retired in 2012 and will take the Madibaz forward pack, whilst Mangweni will be defence coach.


Maidza said that he is looking forward to seeing what both can add to NMMU's game.

"It is a good learning curve for both of them.


"Tiger was with the EP Under-21s this year and he has learned quite a bit from Michael Horak and I'm hoping that he brings the benefit of that experience with him.


"Tiger was always a rugged player and a hard tackler so I'm hoping that as a coach he can share what he had as a player.


"If you look at Barend's line-out work in his playing days, he was one of the masters, one of the few people that used to challenge Victor Matfield.


"Apart from the line-out work he does help me with a lot of the attack play, especially from a forward's perspective.


"We are a young coaching group, but we are very excited to get into the season," he said.

The Madibaz have already started training with a fair amount of new faces, with Maidza admitting that he will have a completely new-look forward pack.


"The bottom line is that there will be a whole new pack and I am looking forward to watching some of the youngsters that have come through from the academy.


"There are some very exciting youngsters coming through from the academy which is being run by Robbie Kempson.


The Madibaz coach said that the close relationship NMMU has with their home union has been extremely valuable.


"The two coaches have actually been seconded from EP, so that is the relationship we have got with EP.


"The union plays a big role in our recruitment and our basic running of the game. For EP to be in the Currie Cup is a lure for some players and that is something that we are taking advantage of," he said.


NMMU will play some warm-up games in January ahead of the new campaign, and Maidza said that they will not be changing too much in their preparations.


"We don't want to reinvent the wheel and try and ponder and crash our heads as to why we haven't been lucky in the last two years.


"For us to have lost out by small margins to top teams it gives us the edge of that hunger to want to get to that final.


"All I want to do is make sure I have prepared the students best to understand the game and for most of the group that I have it won't just be for this year but hopefully the next couple of years," he said.

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