Former Springbok and Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Derick Hougaard will be trying out for a National Football League contract as a kicker at a scouting in December.
Hougaard had an illustrious career as a Bulls player and went on to play eight Tests for the Springboks, and although he played abroad for a few seasons after that, he was forced into early retirement due to injury.
Now Hougaard feels he can resurrect his career as a pro athlete by playing in the NFL. His decision to try out as a punter comes following the establishment of World Wide Scholarships (WWS Africa) by former American football player Munya Maraire and ex Golden Lions high-performance manager Bart Schoeman. The aim of the organisation is to lure local talent to the USA, where they will try out for NFL contracts.
‘I had a wonderful 14-year career as a rugby player, but when any athlete’s career is cut short by injuries, it’s a matter of unfinished business,’ Hougaard said in a statement.
‘I played rugby all over the world, but to end my career as an American football player in the USA would be an unbelievable victory for me.’
‘All athletes dream of second chances and this is mine. Of course there are no guarantees, but the Covid-19 pandemic taught me not to delay chasing my dreams and to be more proactive in achieving them. I’ve already ordered a full playing kit and I’ve started training to be prepared for the trials later this year.’
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