'Back to basics' Stormers will take Gelant to the next level
SPOTLIGHT: He is a World Cup winner, but readily admits that he is nowhere near the player he wants to be.
Warrick Gelant, 25, believes the decision to exchange Pretoria for Cape Town will enable him to reach his full potential.
The nine-times capped Springbok told a virtual media briefing of the ‘excitement’ of being in Cape Town, but struggling with the restrictions of non-contact training.
“I can’t actually say I have joined the team,” the utility back quipped, adding: “I have joined four other guys [in training].”
He said they are currently ‘getting back to basics’ a training and using the opportunities presented by the COVID-19-enforced lockdown to improve their skills.
“This is the best time for any player,” he said, adding: “I can’t remember when last we had six or seven months just working on the basics and fundamentals of your game.
“Hopefully now I can take my game to the next level.
“This [Cape Town] is the place where I feel it could happen,” he said of his move from the Bulls to the Stormers during the lockdown period.
He added that Stormers skills coach Labeeb Levy taught them to “simplify” everything.
“We have to take it back to basics. We work on [basic] skills like ‘catch and pass’.
“It is something you do since you are six years old, but still a vital part of the game. You sometimes see players can’t catch and pass the ball or execute that pressure-pass.
“He [Levy] simplified it and showed how champion teams win games, by executing the simple things really well.
“The further we move away from complexity and the closer we move to simplicity is the key for me.”
(Continue below video … )
Gelant, born in Knysna and schooled at Outeniqua, said he hopes there is an outside chance of some rugby at Newlands, given the uncertainty of where the Currie Cup bubble(s) will be.
Johannesburg was the initial favourite, but a spike in COVID-19 cases in Gauteng cast a shadow of doubt over the region.
The flattening out of cases in the Western Cape has seen Cape Town come back into the picture, with Nelspruit another option.
The two could even share the load, which will allow Gelant to run out onto the famous Newlands pitch in a Stormers jersey.
“We are in a very tough time and we are not sure what the next day will bring,” he said.
“However, we are trying to improve ourselves and grow. You will never find players in Cape Town resting on their laurels.
“What makes this group special is how hard they are working to improve.
“I feel I am in the best place to take my game to the next level.”
He said that despite having a World Cup-winner’s medal to his name, there is plenty about his game he still needs to improve.
“I am not nearly the player I want to be and that motivates me.
“I have bigger goals, other than to say I was a member of a World Cup-winning team.
“I came to the Stormers to be a starter here.
“Many great fullbacks have come before me,” he said of players like Percy Montgomery and his personal favourite Gio Aplon, now ironically a Bulls player.
“Gio may not be the biggest, but the skills he showed is what we all aspired to and then Cheslin [Kolbe] after him.
“I want to be part of that Stormers tradition.”