Fresh approach for Rygersdal with post-Covid plans

Rygersdal junior team.

With many sporting events having returned to competitive games and some still slowly making their way back, the juniors in all sporting codes have been the ones particularly slower in making a return to sporting activities.

Rygersdal is aggressively strengthening their side for when amateur football is fully back on track.

With many junior players only returning to football in 2022 for the first time since last kicking a ball in September 2019, Rygersdal Football Club are looking to a fresh organisational set-up to kick off their post-pandemic plans.

Part of the plans is welcoming back Dr Barry Busch, who was with Old Mutual Football Academy and Cape Umoya. He is joined by his long-standing football associate, Rushdi Harris.

Heading into the upcoming 2022 season, Dr Busch returns as director of junior football where he will have the task of creating a formidable junior set-up at the club he once led and where he is a life member.

“We want to continue on our quest to build a competitive junior set-up, able to compete in and win flagship tournaments,” said the club’s juniors’ chairman, Luther Muller.

“Our work over the past few years has laid the foundation for Dr Busch and Harris to come in and help us maintain what we have built and grow on our vision.”

The junior section will include A and B teams for each under-12, -14, -16 and -18 age groups while the mini football section will cater to all footballers aged 6 to 11; or born between 2011 and 2016.

The junior coaching set-up will complement and work alongside the new senior head coach appointment of Ashley Hartog, who is assisted by long-standing club member and member of the technical committee, Rory Simpson.

Simpson has a rich playing and coaching history at the club and has been part of many of the club’s current junior players transitioning from mini football to the older age groups.

Karl Ronnie and Grant de Smidt will also work within the senior set-up supporting Hartog and Simpson while Thabo Mashologu will run an exciting new goalkeeper programme.

Chairman Justin Asher says there is a sense of excitement in the air as the club sets about on this re-imagined path.

“We’ve been inspired by what other clubs have achieved and started to work toward. The Covid pandemic has allowed us to consolidate and rethink this club’s ambition and strategy. One of the most important things we realised is that we need to focus on the future and build processes, systems and structures that offer sustainability and longevity so that we build a club capable of running itself without reliance on one or two individuals,” said Asher.

The glory days when Rygersdal was crowned Coke Cup champions in 2017.
A Rygersdal half-time talk during their time in the Bayhill tournament.