Monday, January 14, 2008

Reactions to the appointment of De Villiers, no surprise

Again the reactions, as covered in mainstream Afrikaans media comes (sad to say) as no surprise. It highlights the agenda that lurks behind the headlines. Nothing good has been said, nothing about his history, credentials and now (today) the supposed suspicion of the senior Bok players highlighted. De Villiers had to face this in his career up till now, and will surely have to square up to it, in future. There are however a few instances where he would need broader support against this tide of opposition.

SARU need to jack up the processes around the coach, which include the public relations, player management and renumeration and more importantly, it is only hoped that SARU will make it possible for the overseas-based players to be able to play for the national team. This will of course, put the ball in their court to decide whether they will play under a coach, who is not white.

Be that as is may, it is obvious that De Villiers has good rapport and respect amongst the players he coached to become the world champs at junior level and he will just have to build on this foundation. The skepticism, virulent critique and downright hogwash, from some quarters, will have to be dealt with primarily by performance and success on the field. Constructive critique need to be taken and weighed, but the buck (Bok) will stop with him, and his decisions will have to be respected. Should he fail to perform according to his mandate, then he should be replaced, which is nothing new to Bok coaches. What we however would ask from him then would be to own up to his failures, as we sure would think, he would for his victories.

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