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Smit starts smartly

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 11 Jun 2013 at 15:03
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks held a press conference to welcome John Smit as Sharks CEO, while using the opportunity to make some important announcements. I had the pleasure of being in attendance.

Smit, even though he is only taking office 1 July, has already had a few tough days in Durban, having to tell John Plumtree that his contract would not be extended. This after Plumtree was told that a two year contract extension was on the cards.

Smit went on to announce that Brendan Venter will take on a new position within the Sharks setup, that of Director of Rugby. Currently, there is no Director of Rugby within the Sharks ranks, and he is set to take office from the start of the Currie Cup season. Venter is currently involved with the Baby Boks and will start at Kings Park once his duties with the team are complete.

No specific details regarding a job description were discussed, but it is understood that John Plumtree’s contract runs until the end of the season. This would mean that he will remain as coach of the Sharks until the completion of the Currie Cup campaign. What might still happen is that Plumtree might opt not to stay with the Sharks until the end of the season, seeing that his contract will not be renewed. This is all speculation though.

Smit commented on the Nick Mallett story, saying that Mallett was approached, and while Brendan Venter was always in line to be the Director of Rugby, enquiry was made as to whether Mallett would be interested in a move to Durban. Mallett immediately declined, which led Smit to express his disappointment as to the handling of the situation, which led to John Plumtree reading about this in the media before a discussion was held with him.

Furthermore, Grant Bashford and Hugh Reece Edwards are expected to stay in the Sharks setup, but no specific details regarding their roles were discussed. Smit merely mentioned that he hoped that they would remain with the Sharks.

Smit, along with Venter, is expected to approach potential head coaches over the next few months. The new coach will have to join the Sharks by the end of the year as the franchise prepares for the 2014 Super Rugby season.

More good news for the Sharks is that outgoing CEO Brian van Zyl confirmed that key players have already signed contract extensions. JP Pietersen, Tendai Mtawarira and Ryan Kankowski have all agreed to stay with the Sharks while the du Plessis brothers are currently in negotiations to remain with the team.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish John Plumtree all the best for the future, whether he remains with the team until the end of the year or not. Further, we would like to welcome John Smit to the Sharks team, once again. Good luck Smitty, it looks like you have had your work cut out for you before your official start date.


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