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Wynie Strydom
Wynie and Doc Tommie lift Ryder Cup

The Vodacom Bulls' team manager Wynie Strydom and the team doctor Tommie Smook lifted the Ryder Cup for the second year in a row after they thrashed Loftus' stadium manager Hugo Kemp and the Bulls' financial manager Heino Noeth in their annual golf competition.

The Ryder Cup was contested over three days at the Ellements and Zebulla courses outside Warmbaths with Wynie and Doc Tommie hammering their opposition five and a half to one and a half.

Strydom, who has been involved with rugby at the Blue Bulls since 1975, is a keen golfer, and although he disclosed that he is not very good, he loves to play a few rounds with his friends.

"Oom Wynie" set aside a few minutes and answered ten questions for bluebulls.co.za

1 What are your childhood memories of rugby?

I grew up in a home that loved rugby and I remember how my dad used to wake myself as well as my brothers Faan and Barend in the early hours of the morning to listen to Gerhard Viviers' commentary on a Springbok test match. Our whole family, including my sister Susan, were enthusiastic Blue Bull supporters and ever since I can remember rugby was part of my life.

2 Who was your hero as a child?

Dawie de Villiers captured my imagination as a youngster and in later years I had enormous respect for the abilities of Danie Gerber as well as the Sharks' fullback André Joubert.

3 Tell us about your playing days?

I played scrumhalf throughout my life and at Graskop Primary our coach Mr Kucke use to say that the number 9 is the "sneller van die span". After high school I was selected for the Defence Force team and I captained NKP in the Carlton League.

From 1974 – 1980 I played for Pretoria club and in 1976 I played my first game for Northern Transvaal.

Those years at Pretoria Club were unbelievable and I have made wonderful friends that I still see on a regular basis. From 1980 – 1983 we played for the "Old Boys team" and we called ourselves the "Glucose team". I played at Pretoria with men like Peet Uys, Desmond Reid, Anton Knoetze, Piet Steyn, Adam du Plooy, Warren Jevon, Richard Erasmus and Pierre van Zyl and they have enriched my life in a way that is very difficult to explain. We are bosom friends and they always back me as well as the Blue Bulls.

4 When did you get involved with management?

In the middle 1970's I was the Primary Schools' representative on the Bulls' coaching forum and in 1982 and 1983 I coached the Union's under 20 team. I have been involved with the Bulls ever since and 1997 was my first year as manager of the Currie Cup team. It is a massive honour to be the manager of the Bulls and especially the last six years were stupendous.

5 Is there one game that stands out?

Yes. 19 May 2007.

Nothing will ever beat that….but I must admit there was one game when Rudy Joubert coached the Bulls that was also very special: In six years the Bulls have lost all of their 24 games overseas, but in Napier in either 2003 or 2004 we were able to beat the Hurricanes. That was our first win in 25 matches in Australasia.

6 Why is it so difficult for the SA teams to win in New Zealand and Australia?

The traveling does have a big impact on the players and in the early days we had regional teams and every season we had a new coach. That means that the team always change and the players do not get an opportunity to get use to the circumstances.

A few years ago we played in quite a number of small towns and everything is new to the players. Nowadays we only play in the big stadiums and the players get use to the conditions and it definitely increases our changes of winning.

7 How are you handling the stress of professional sport?

Some people think the stress will decrease as you get older and more experienced but I have to admit that it gets worse! I see how hard the players work and I desperately want them to win for their own sake. We are a family at the Bulls and when you work alongside one another it is wonderful to be able to succeed and share that experience.

8 Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, golf.

9 Tell us about your family?

My wife Marlene prepares the meals for the players at Loftus. She gives them breakfast and lunch and is also responsible for the pre-match meals. They say they play so well because they eat so well. I have two sons, Divan and Gerhard, and my daughter named Mareli.

10 Are you looking forward to the Super 14?

It is such a privilege to be involved with rugby and a can truly say that I can't wait for the first game to kick off.

Other articles by Up close and personal with
  • Wilhelm Steenkamp
  • Bryan Habana
  • Tim Dlulane
  • The president of the Blue Bulls, Boet Fick
  • Derick Hougaard

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