It’s been 13 years and Rid­haa has still got love for the game

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - DUD­LEY CARSTENS

HE has cap­tained three clubs, has played first team am­a­teur rugby for 13 years al­ready and is known across the Cape as a true “club man”.

In­tro­duc­ing False Bay scrumhalf Rid­haa Damon who, at 31, be­lieves he still has a sea­son or more left in the tank in his search for that elu­sive Su­per League A ti­tle.

We chat­ted with Damon and got to know him bet­ter... Rid­haa, where did it all start for you? I started play­ing for Col­le­gians at the age of 18 back in 2002. I cap­tained the team in 2007, and then moved to SK Walmers where I cap­tained them in 2009. In 2010, I moved to False Bay where I was cap­tain in 2011. There aren’t many cen­tu­ri­ons at club level, but you’ve rep­re­sented False Bay in more than 100 matches. What would you say is the se­cret to your suc­cess? I don’t think it’s any se­cret. I have al­ways been happy at False Bay, since day one, and felt that they of­fered me the nec­es­sary plat­form to show­case my God-given tal­ent. I have since come to love the club and its peo­ple… How much has the club game changed since you first started out? I started out in an era where “free-for-all” fights and ruck­ing a player were okay. What keeps you go­ing, and how many sea­sons do you think you still have left in the game? The love of the game. How­ever, I must ad­mit that my pri­or­i­ties have changed greatly since I started a fam­ily and my need to spend more time at home with them is grow­ing daily. I prob­a­bly have an­other sea­son to go, if I am lucky, maybe two. Who has been your tough­est op­po­nent over the years? Paul Del­port. He was al­ways at the top of his game on and off the field, and through­out my ju­nior and into early se­nior ca­reer he was se­lected ahead of me. As a boytjie from the Cape Flats at­tend­ing nor­mal gov­ern­ment schools, with lit­tle to no fa­cil­i­ties, com­pet­ing with the kids who at­tended the for­mer Model C schools was tough. I can now ap­pre­ci­ate that, as it al­ways mo­ti­vated me to work harder and played a mas­sive role in mould­ing me into the player I have be­come. And the most tal­ented lo­cal player you’ve seen? Isma-eel Dol­lie comes to mind. Cur­rently I will have to go with Mus­taqeem Jap­pie. He is spe­cial and I love watch­ing is magic over and over. What is your favourite club mem­ory to date? I don’t think any­thing could top play­ing for Col­le­gians as a 21-year-old a decade or so ago, against the well-paid and big­name play­ers of SK Walmers. There were about 10 000 sup­port­ers at the Green Point Track that day and we beat them with a last-minute try by Stu­art Palmer and con­ver­sion by Ad­naan Os­man. That mem­ory will def­i­nitely last a life­time. Only peo­ple who were there will un­der­stand and re­mem­ber the mag­ni­tude of that game. Hav­ing not won the WP league ti­tle yet, how spe­cial will it be if False Bay can pull it off this year? If there was ever a time we could do it, it is now with this spe­cial bunch of guys. Win­ning the ti­tle this year would def­i­nitely be a mas­sive achieve­ment for my­self and for the club, and I would do what­ever it takes to con­trib­ute to this, but let’s not jinx it! What does be­ing a “club man” mean to you? Al­ways putting the team be­fore your­self and sup­port­ing your club as a whole at all times.

RID­HAA DAMON: A true ‘club man’.

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