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Maties look within

FNB Maties will be relying on their internal depth to guide them to recreate the glory of the successful 2008, 2009 and 2010 campaigns for the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.


Despite missing out on the final last year, coach Chris Rossouw is excited about the upcoming campaign after his fairly young side were crowned champions in their league campaign.


"I'm very excited about the young guys coming through. They were given the chance in the league, due to injuries to senior players, and we ended up winning the league with them. A lot of guys put their hands up and showed they are ready to play Varsity Cup," he told varsitycup.co.za.


Rossouw views the Varsity Cup as their main priority as Maties have a winning culture within them and have learned valuable off-field lessons which will transferred onto the field.


"We have learnt a lot of lessons, most of them off the field, in order to make sure we play better on the field. We will be placing huge emphasis on our preparation and that all our boxes are ticked off. It's won't only be rugby focused because there are other factors as well.


"The main lessons we learned is to play in the moment and make sure we attack space. We have worked hard on that to put it in place. We showed progression in slowly-but-surely putting our processes in place so that we are able to build a sustainable model.


"For us, it's about the Varsity Cup and winning at Maties is the only thing. So although we had a successful season in the league, our main thing is winning the Varsity Cup. We are a very proud club and would like to go get that prize," he added.


Maties will be losing the likes of: Mark Hodgskiss, Jacobus Jordaan, Clearance Themba Khumalo, Caleb Smith, Jan de Klerk and Robert du Preez but Rossouw remains upbeat about the amount of talented young players coming through.


"We have been blessed with a good group and what we did this year is that we gave everyone within the club an opportunity to get selected for the squad. We are looking to bring in one or two guys from outside our structures but we still awaiting confirmation.


"Looking internally, though, there are a lot of new guys with great talent that will come in and we are really excited for next year. Going forward, we need to build a sustainable model and that can only be done from within.


"We have the talent here and we are putting the systems in place to develop the talent we have so that they are given opportunities to play Varsity Cup.


"If we are fortunate enough to get one or two post-grads, then obviously we will do so, but for us, it's very important to develop the talent we have so that we show the guys we believe in them and have proof our systems are working. We have put a lot of time into that over the last year and I think it will all fall into place in the near future," he stated.


Although Rossouw is uncertain about who will join his technical, as there are still positions yet to be filled, he will be definitely be joined by Adri Badenhorst, Marius Hurter and Andre Smith.


"Adri is one of the best line-out coaches I know and he will continue his good work. Marius is well-known for scrumming knowledge and everything there is to know about scrums in general.


"Andre Smith will remain our conditioning coach and there a few guys who still need to be confirmed but we will be getting a mental coach involved as well," he said.

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