I grew up in a small town in northern South Africa called Pietersburg, (now Polokwane) in the Limpopo province. My childhood and teen years were filled with all the traditional South African sports. I excelled at Cricket, Athletics and Field Hockey but my first true love was Rugby or rather kicking a ball and as a consequence, playing Rugby.
I pursued a career in Rugby after High School, attending the Rugby Academy at the University of Pretoria in 2008/09. I continued playing rugby at various levels for different clubs and unions up to the age of 25 when I discovered the sport of Professional Kicking and Punting in American Football. As soon as I saw a YouTube video describing what the sport entails I knew that it was meant for me and instantaneously I left everything I was busy with at the time and threw myself into pursuing it with absolute relentless determination.
In 2015 I traveled to the USA and trained with Michael Husted and his group of seniors including Nic Novak and Jason Meyers and learnt many valuable lessons during this time. Although I knew I lacked a lot of experience and technical ability, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private workout with the San Diego Chargers where I had the opportunity to go through a workout with an NFL team.
I learned a lot from this extensive experience and came back to South Africa with a plan. I started my own Kicking Academy (the first of its kind on the continent) so that I could continue to work on my craft and give myself the best chance if ever given another opportunity. I started learning technique fundamentals from All Pro NFL Veteran Mike Hollis and continued to learn from Mike Hollis virtually for the next 6 years.
My next workout was with the BC Lions of the CFL in 2019 and had it not been for Sergio Castillo’s unbelievable streak at the time, I might have been given an opportunity. Sergio went on to receive the CFL Special Teams player of the year.
Side bar: In 2017 I met a young man by the name of Henry Nell who was also a South African and came from a rugby background. I started as his Rugby kicking coach but that soon turned into Henry pursuing a career as a Pro Kicker. As I went the CFL route, we sent Henry to the Arena Football leagues in the USA where he quickly made a name for himself, earning 2nd team all pro in his first year. He also kicked the first drop goal in the history of the league. Henry played 2 seasons in the National Arena League for the Maine Mammoths and River Kings and then 1 season in the Arena Football League for the Baltimore Brigade.
In 2021 both Henry and I were approached by the CFL to take part in their Global Draft. A ridiculous turn of events saw Henry get drafted by the Roughriders and I got signed to the same team as an undrafted free agent. Both coach and student signed to the same team! Henry being based in the US was able to honor his duties and report for camp where he is still on the roster but unfortunately for me, the covid travel restrictions kept me in South Africa for the time being.
I look forward to working with the next generation of “Henry’s” as I take this next step in my coaching career with One on One kicking. I will continue to work on my craft in preparation for the next opportunity or whatever the future may hold for me.
2005 – 2007: Capricorn High School 1st team Rugby
2008 – 2009: University of Pretoria Rugby Academy, u19 Amateur Blue Bulls
2009 – 2010: Police Rugby Club (Player of the Year) Limpopo Blue Bulls
2013 – 2014: University of North West
2015: Chargers Workout, Started the RocketFoot Academy In Pretoria, South Africa
2019: BC Lions Workout
2021: Signed and released by the CFL Roughriders