By Benedict Chanakira
A normal guy with a passion for his job, great rugby knowledge and has earned his stripes through the ranks in Pretoria. The new Blue Bulls Currie Cup coach Nollis Marais!
BC – Hi, how are you Nollis?
NM – I am well, thank you.
BC – You are the new Blue Bulls Currie Cup coach, how does that feel?
NM – It’s a huge honour to be the coach of the Vodacom Blue Bulls; in one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
BC – The Bulls are known for having a wealth of talent and resources, what is the secret?
NM – The secret in my opinion is the tremendous work being put in by Werner de Beer and Xander Janse van Rensburg traveling all over South Africa and watching hours and hours of matches, then recruiting the best players for us.
BC – What do you aim to achieve in the next few years of your tenure?
NM – My biggest focus point at this moment is only looking at the Currie Cup and ensure that all focus of players and management is dedicated to the success of the team in this tournament.
BC – “If someone pays R1 to watch you play, you need to play as if it their last cent. Players must play for the jersey” – This is a statement you said in the presser. What can fans expect from your side?
NM – The fans can expect a team that is fully committed to play for the fans, this team will have nothing else on their mind than performing on match day. We know that the team is very important to our faithful supporters and we want to play the brand of rugby they can be proud of.
BC – How much of a benefit is it to have been the Blue Bulls u21 , and Vodacom Cup team coach? You have worked with most, if not all the players before.
NM – It’s a huge benefit because I know all the weaknesses and strengths of 95% of the players. This creates a bond of trust between me and the players, we have been through so many ups and downs together.
BC – We have seen just how good Jesse Kriel has been this year. Most people have not seen much of Dan Kriel play this year. Just how good is he?
NM – Dan is just as much a talent as his brother – he just didn’t have the chance to prove himself on a higher level due to Jan Serfontein and Burger Odendaal playing excellent rugby .Dan is being groomed from a young age to play senior rugby and I do believe his chance is just around the corner.
BC – What has been your fondest memory as a coach with the Blue Bulls?
NM – The dream came true when I received the call from Heyneke Meyer informing me that I will now work for the Blue Bulls in 2011. Secondly being appointed as the Currie Cup Coach for the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
BC – What are the most important aspects for any youngster out there who wants to be a professional rugby player?
NM – Write your own history, don’t let anybody decide your future. Everybody has talent and you must be willing to put everything on the line to achieve success.
BC – Thank you for your time Nollis, and all the best for the season!
NM – Cheers Benedict
Xander on Nollis, “It is a privilege to work with him as he is very thorough in his planning and preparation, well informed and focussed on the detail, which allows the team to remain focused on the task ahead. He is able to get the team motivated and united behind a common goal, the foundation being hard work. Success will not be instant or overnight but Nollis is the right person who will give 100%. A Pretoria bred man who grew up with the dream to coach here, groomed from grass roots level and his understanding of the Blue Bulls culture and ethos makes him a great candidate, as well as the added advantage of being mentored by Frans Ludeke, Johan van Graan and Heyneke Meyer.” – who has worked with Nollis since 2010.
Xander Janse van Rensburg
Blue Bulls High Performance Manager