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Sharks snap up Bulls coach Anthony

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Original Content, Sharks on 10 Jul 2013 at 08:27
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

According to Beeld and Sport24, Sharks CEO John Smit has successfully lured Blue Bulls under 19 coach Paul Anthony to Durban, where he will take up a coaching role with the side.

Anthony, who coached Smit at Pretoria Boys High School, during a 25-year coaching career at that school that included a rare first XV win over Affies in 2003, has been the full-time Bulls under 19 coach since 2008 and has taken the team to no fewer than six under 19 competition finals in that time. Reading between the lines, the fact that the Bulls haven’t been willing to move Anthony up through the ranks despite his success at under 19 level may well have made it easier for Smit to convince him to move.

Anthony will work under Brenden Venter as part of an overhauled coaching structure; Beeld’s information is that he will server as an assistant to Brad Macleod-Henderson and Sean Everitt during the Currie Cup, while other sources suggest he may be set to work with Ettiene Fynn and the Sharks under 21 side. Smit has said he will confirm coaching appointments only after Super Rugby has run its course for the year.

Having been coached by “Mr Ants” myself, though, I can only congratulate the Sharks on seeing the potential in an amazing coach and making him part of the team to take us forward. Like Macleod-Henderson and Everitt, Anthony is a wonderful developer of talent and is open, likeable and manages his players well. Without wanting to second-guess Smit, he seems determined to create a player-friendly environment in Durban, with a lot of emphasis on coaches who have shown the ability to develop players and bring them successfully through the structure.

This, again, points to Smit and Venter planning to fix Sharks rugby “from within”, by concentrating on development and succession planning, rather than opening the chequebook to lure a bunch of new “mercenaries” to the team.


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