Lions leaders on life without Jantjies
SPOTLIGHT: Since Elton Jantjies’ loan move to French club Pau, loads of focus has been placed on the Lions’ leadership.
In a very candid interview, several Lions players have been given the freedom to addresses the challenges facing the Johannesburg team.
In Jantjies’ absence, the Lions captain’s armband has changed hands twice in the Rainbow Cup, and this has even happened during matches.
Speaking via the Lions official website Dan Kriel said: “I don’t think that the change in captaincy is a factor in the team.
“I actually feel that it is incredible that there are so many of us who are able to represent the Lions as captain. For me it is an easy switch.
“We have a group of leaders in our squad, which makes things a bit easier with regards to captaincy,” Courtnall Skosan said, adding: “We back them and know that on any given day they will be able to lead us and take us forward,”
Sti Sithole commented: “For me personally, this has come very easily.
“Within the team, there are a few guys who are able to fill this role, and as a group, we are very comfortable with all of them, so when the change comes, it doesn’t cause any disruption.
Springbok Willem Alberts added: “Captaincy can change a lot during the season, and coach Cash [Ivan van Rooyen] is working with some of his senior players to fill this role for us right now.
“Unfortunately, we have had a couple of injuries which have changed the captain as well this season, but I think we have great captains within our team. This also makes the switch between who will wear that hat so easy, because there is a lot of trust between the senior players.”
The players shed light on how they navigate difficult on-field decisions.
“We have clear direction going into a weekend’s game and make sure we cover all our bases for any possible scenarios,” Skosan said.
“I am very confident in the decision-makers in our team and I back them. If needed, I would give my input, as I’m always looking to serve the team in any possible way. Whatever makes the boat go faster.
Kriel revealed: “We have a group called “the Drivers” which is made up of certain positions and players. These players play an important part in the decisions that are made in order for the best outcome for the team.”
Midfielder Burger Odendaal stated: “It is a difficult thing because it can always be a right or wrong decision that is made.
“I try to get as much info as possible from the players around me and in specific positions to help me with making a call,”
Veteran Alberts echoed his teammate’s sentiments: “There are some difficult situations on the field for the captain, especially with the newly added captain’s challenge.
“I think the captain relies on the guys around them to guide them to the correct decision in the moment.
“The senior players, through experience, know when to give input and when to help the captain with a couple of guiding words in certain situations.”
The Lions host the Sharks this Saturday at Ellis Park.