Mzwandile Stick will take over as head coach of the EP Kings during a Vodacom Cup; a role he’s very excited about.
After 10 seasons as a player, Stick has been working hard behind the scenes at his home province EP, where he was born and bred in the Port Elizabeth township of New Brighton.
He’s been based at the EP Academy, and has also worked with the EP age-group teams previously.
His next mission will see him take charge of the EP Kings Vodacom Cup squad.
Stick believes this will be a vital step for the union as they prepare for Super Rugby next year.
“Things are going very well so far. We had a good off-season and we’re following that up with a positive pre-season,” Stick told MyPlayers.co.za. “We will be taking the Vodacom Cup very seriously as it’s still a tough competition. We want to win it.
“I’m also working closely with Carlos Spencer, who has passed on his requests. Last year, the players who featured in the Currie Cup didn’t get much game time earlier in the year. So I need to keep them in mind this season.
“Otherwise, I’m enjoying life as a coach. Although, I’m retired, rugby is still a very big part of my life, which is great.”
Stick believes the EP Kings, in the guise of the Southern Kings, will be ready for Super Rugby in 2016.
“Things went really well for the team in 2013, but I think we will go much better next season,” said Stick. “There was a lot of pressure for us to perform, with the threat of relegation, and although we had amazing moments, we still didn’t do enough to secure our place for 2014.
“However, we have less pressure and more time to organise our structures in 2016. So we are expecting to do much better when our opportunity comes.”
As for coaching, Stick has high hopes as a coach. He hopes to play a role at Super Rugby level in the near future, while he also believes he could one day coach at national level.
“I’m very happy with what I achieved as a player. I got to play provincial rugby and I played at international level with the Springbok Sevens, going on to win the World Series and captaining the national team,” said Stick. “As a kid from the township, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would make it to that level.
“Now, as a coach, I want to add to those achievements. I want to continue helping out at the EP Kings, creating future generations of great players. I never got to play Super Rugby before, although I was part of the Sharks Super Rugby squad, so I do hope to coach at that level one day.
“Then as any coach, it would be a dream come true to coach a national team.”