Newspaper article courtesy of Northglen News, written by Shiraz Habbib.
AT the beginning of the year, Northwood School’s loose head prop, Ngoni Chidoma, wrote down four things he wanted to achieve in 2014. They were to make the Craven Week side, the SA Schools side, cement his place as a regular starter in the schools first side and sign a Sharks contract. The 17-year-old man mountain did all this more proving that he is well able to adapt to the rigours of international schoolboy rugby.
Chidoma was one of only three KZN lads to be selected for the SA Schools team who took on the might of Europe as they faced off against the U18 teams of England, France, and Wales in an international series. What’s more is he also became the first player in the school’s history to make the SA Schools side.
“Making the team was a dream come true. Receiving my green and gold blazer and bok tie was a huge honour. It is a stepping stone in my career and I hope to build on my performances and my next goal is to be selected for the U20 bok trial squad,” Chidoma.
The Zimbabwe born prop played two games for the schools squad against France and England.
“I made my first appearance against France and the differences between school rugby was immediately apparent. You can’t switch off, every inch, ruck and maul are fiercely contested. It definitely opened my eyes as to what international rugby is all about,” he said.
Chidoma also praised the new coaching staff at Northwood made up of head coach, and former Sharks player Grant Bashford, scrum coach and former Sharks loose-head prop, Eduard Coetzee, and SA Schools player in 1997, Simon Vickers, the conditioning coach.
“They’ve all been great this year and have helped mould me and guide me on and off the field and I’m grateful for their input. You don’t succeed in sport without the support of coaches, friends and family and that is what has helped me reach my goals,” he said.
Photo Credit: Shiraz Habbib