Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Bulls midfielder Johann Sadie is so desperate to play top level rugby on a regular basis that he was willing to give up his lucrative contract with the Bulls for a move to the Cheetahs next season, reports SuperSport.com.
Sadie signed a two year deal with the Cheetahs on Tuesday, ending speculation about his future after he asked the Bulls to release him from his contract for a move elsewhere, just six months into his deal with the Pretoria union.
After falling out of favour and struggling to make the starting line-up, Sadie was left out of the match 22 a few weeks back before injury ended his Super Rugby season.
And while he will see out this season with the Bulls in the Currie Cup, Sadie has made the choice to move to Bloemfontein in the new year and fight for a starting spot in the Cheetahs' Super Rugby side next year.
The Bulls have released midfielder Wynand Olivier for a sabattical in Japan in the meantime, but the blond midfielder will be back for Super Rugby action, while the fight for the other midfield position next year will be between rising stars JJ Engelbrecht, Francois Venter and IRB Junior Player of the Year Jan Serfontein.
“It was a horrible decision to make,” he said. “Just as it was last year. Every time it is a career move that I’m making and it's not an easy one. I’ve had to make the decision for the good of my rugby and hopefully Free State is the answer.”
But Sadie hinted that while injuries have hampered him, he simply felt he would fit more into an open game plan than the Bulls style of rugby.
“Injuries really hit me this year, I hurt my shoulder in the first game and then tore my ankle ligaments. But to be honest I’m looking forward to playing in the Free State, they play my type of game. Unfortunately it seems the Bulls style didn’t compliment my game. Perhaps I’m being too hasty, but I seriously want to play and next year is a big year for me. I want the ball in my hands. That’s one of the big reasons why I left.”
Sadie admits it was tough seeing his room-mate and friend Engelbrecht make the Bok team while he struggled with his luck, but it has only served to motivate him to work harder on his game.
“It’s one of those things,” he says, “We’re still big mates and there isn’t bad feelings. That’s how rugby is. The same goes for the Bulls, it is an unbelievable professional environment and the players there are world class. I really feel bad but I made the decision to see I’ve got the ball in my hands.
While nothing has been promised in terms of game time, Sadie says his goal is to establish himself in Bloemfontein for the next few years.
“I really want to establish myself in the starting line-up, and that’s important, but not as important to me as being stable at a union. After all, this is my third one in two years and I want it to be a big move.”
Sadie confirmed there was an approach to play Sevens, but he chose to stick to the fifteen man game because he still dreams of becoming a Bok one day.
“I did think about it, but in the end I want to play for the Boks, its still a dream of mine and one I have to give my all to try and achieve.”
At the Cheetahs Sadie will compete with Robert Ebersohn for a starting berth, while Andries Strauss is the other regular midfielder in the team.