Teenager Oliver signs at the Cheetahs

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Juan-Dee Oliver following Grey's victory over Hoërskool Duineveld in March. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Grey College 1st XV scrumhalf, Juan-Dee Oliver, has become the latest player to sign a contract with the Toyota Cheetahs.

Oliver, who is still completing his matric, has penned a two-year contract at the Cheetahs.
The halfback is a multi-talented sportsman and represents his alma mater and the Free State in age-level rugby and cricket.

Recently the Cheetahs contracted George Cronjé (Clermont), Marcell Muller and Lesley Botha (both from Montpellier). All three of them played with Oliver for the Grey 1st XV last year, while Cronjé and Botha played in the 2019 Craven Week with him.

Oliver has an educated boot and often took the goal-kicking duties. Furthermore, his kicking game from the set piece will be a benefit to the Cheetahs.

The 18-year-old told Bloemfontein Courant that he is looking forward to playing with his former teammates again, and also to learn from the World Cup-winning Springbok, Ruan Pienaar.

“I can’t wait to start playing with George, Les and them and starting making some new memories again.

“Ruan is an inspirational player and with all of his experience, I cannot wait to learn and listen to what he has to say. I can’t wait to see how he does things and in which way he practises.”

As an all-round sportsman, Oliver admitted that it was tough decision to choose between cricket and rugby but he had guidance from the former Proteas all-rounder, Ryan McLaren.

“It was a tough one, because cricket has been amazing to me, and rugby as well. Luckily I had my coach, Ryan McLaren, to speak to every day and he told me that the one that I enjoy the most would just come to me. In the end it was rugby that came my way and I can’t wait to start my career at the Free State.”

For now, his goals are to work hard and stay humble and hopefully it will guide him to the top.

“My goals are to train as hard as I can and to be the best in my position through hard work. Staying humble is also right up there and hopefully I will reach the top one day.”

As Oliver is still at school, his contract at the Cheetahs starts on 1 January 2021. – MORGAN PIEK