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