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FEATURED

Q&A with Alistair Vermaak

PUBLISHED: July 6, 2014



Not even Alistair Vermaak envisaged he would make his mark at loosehead prop for the DHL Stormers this season.

What went through your mind when you had to replace Brok Harris against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld?
“My roommate, Mikey van der Spuy, and I prepared ourselves mentally the night before the match. We were joking around and I said to him, ‘Mikey, you must be ready. If Peter Grant is injured in minute one, you will have to play just about the entire match.’ He took the same line – that I should be ready for the challenge if sent on as a replacement for Brok. A scrum had just been called when I went on!”

Were you nervous when you packed down for the first scrum?
“Yes, I was a little nervous, but also ready. I had played the game through my mind several times the night before.”

Did you expect to be involved in Vodacom Super Rugby this year?
“I had been in the training group earlier in the year and it went well. But, of course, the DHL Stormers also had the likes of Steven Kitshoff and Oli Kebble ahead of me. My original plan was to give it my all in the Vodacom Cup. I was struck down by injuries, but got my big break.”

What do you think has been the secret to the way the DHL Stormers have turned the corner?
“I think it’s down to the belief the guys have in each other. The vibe has become very positive and impacts on how the guys play. The youngsters add lots of energy and draw confidence from the senior players. In turn, the seniors draw energy from the youngsters.”

Uneminyaka e25, zitshintshile izinto ozifunayo ngoku nakwixesha elizayo?
“Injongo yam kukudlala kakuhle kwiAbsa Currie Cup kuze ndikwazi ukufumana icontract yeminyaka emibini okanye emithathu. Izoba ngunyaka wam wokuqala kwiCurrie Cup ndidlalela iWestern Province.”

Usuka eMpuma Koloni kwaye ubudlalela iGriffons phambikoba uze eNtshona Koloni. Sichazele ngohambo lwakho?
“Ndidlalele iMpuma Koloni kwiGrant Khomo ngo2005 emva koko ndaya eHarmony Sports Academy eWelkom apho ndiqibe ibanga 11 no12. Ndidlalele iGriffons kwiCraven Week ngo2007. Ukusuka apho ndamenywa ukuyongena eWestern Province Rugby Institute, okokhe bendiseKapa ndayidlalela nayo neBoland kancinci.”

Uncambazile ukuyaphezulu, ubusazi nha ukuba uyanyamezela uzophumelela?
“Kudala ndifuna ukuba ngumdlali obathalwayo womboxo kwaye ndicing’ba umonde sesona sitshixo semphumelelo. Ndonzakala kakubi enzwaneni ngo2010 yandibuyisela umva lonto kakhulu. Kodwa khe ndiphinde ndakwazi ukubuyela endleleni ngenxa yeVarsity Cup. Zange ndiphinde ndilahle ithemba khe.”

Zithini incebiso onozinika abadlali abancinci?
“Ngumonde, ulunge xha ithumba lakho lifikile no kusebenza nzima.”

Wie het die grootste rol gespeel om jou tot op hierdie punt in jou loopbaan te kry?
“Ek sou sê my familie. Ons is ‘n groot familie en ek kon nog altyd op hulle vir yslike ondersteuning staatmaak.”

Was die jong spelers enigsens oorweldig of geïntimideer deur die groot rol wat hulle in die DHL Stormers se veldtog moes speel?
“Die geloof wat die afrigters en senior spelers in ons geplaas het, het dit makliker gemaak as wat dit andersins sou wees om op dié vlak mee te ding.”

Fokus jy as stut vernaam op die basiese aspekte van die spel of wil jy óók jou stempel as baldraer afdruk?
“Ek fokus op die basiese dinge en glo die res sal vanself kom. Ek wil eerstens goed skrum, my ondersteunende rol in die lynstane goed vervul en losskrums skoonmaak. As die situasie dit verg, kan ek die bal dra.”

Hoe ervaar jy die afrigting by die DHL Stormers?
“Dis meer professioneel as wat ek elders ervaar het. Hulle plaas baie geloof in jou en gee jou die vryheid om jouself uit te leef. Dis op ‘n heel ander vlak.”

Het jy stokperdjies buite rugby?
“Ek geniet my rugby besonder baie, maar hou van ‘n bietjie sokker op die PlayStation!”

Wie is jou beste pel in die span?
“Ek en Tazz Fuzani is naby aan mekaar. Ongelukkig is hy tans beseer.”

DHL Stormers Matchday Magazine