EP’s secret weapon

Kings will look to Van Breda as impact player off the bench in Griquas clash

VERSATILE utility back Scott van Breda will be the EP Kings’ secret weapon off the bench when they clash with Griquas in a Vodacom Cup match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 3pm). That is the view of EP Kings coach Mzwandile Stick ahead of what promises to be a tough start against the defending champions for his ambitious young team.

Former Leopards player Sylvian Mahuza, who impressed during the Kings’ friendly triumph over the Lions last weekend, was named in the starting lineup ahead of Van Breda at fullback.

Asked if was a surprise that Van Breda was not in the starting lineup, Stick said: “I can’t really put my thoughts into other people’s minds if they are surprised by that call.

“I have a close relationship with Scott and all the players and they know where they stand.

“I think Scotty is one of best weapons on the bench because if you need some impact in kicks, he has a solid boot if the game gets tight.

“I gave Sylvian an opportunity last week and I could see he needed more time to settle in. As a coach, it is best to look after the interest of the players and give them more time to settle in. He is a new player and has an X-factor.

“With Scotty, you know what he can offer you, so he is one of my best weapons on the bench coming in.

“Another advantage with Scott is that he can cover wing, fullback and outside centre.”

Stick believes his team can win the Vodacom Cup this year.

“I have never doubted that this squad can go all the way. But it is a matter of taking one game at a time,” the coach said.

“We will never underestimate any teams because we know it will always be tough when you are wearing the Kings jersey.

“Teams always come hard at us. Border don’t care how they play against the other teams but when they play the Kings, they give their best game. I have been there as a player and I know what it takes.

“The majority of the unions don’t want us to be successful because then they can’t come to PE to fish for players.

“Most of the players in the Bulls and Sharks sides come from the Eastern Cape. When you go to the Western Cape, there is Scarra Ntabeni and Siya Kolisi. All those guys came from this region.” Kings skipper Shane Gates says winning home games will be crucial if his team want to make an impact in the Vodacom Cup.

“We urge fans to get behind the team – we won’t let them down. We are going to push for good performances, and winning at home is important. But we also want to put in good performances away and find that balance,” Gates said.

-George Byron