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Gold’s time to shine

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 17 Jun 2015 at 09:44
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Let’s revisit a topic first raised during the early days of this year’s Super Rugby campaign, when the first signs of a less-than-stellar season started to emerge. I asked (via a cake-baking analogy that admittedly fell rather flat) just what effect the constant changing of coaches must be having on the Sharks squad and put forward the hypothesis that it was this change in itself that was mostly to blame for the drop in performance, rather than anything to do with the skill levels of the particular individuals.

Things have moved on and after another disappointing campaign where the team failed to live up to their potential, yet more coaching changes are on the cards. A few senior players (who may or may not have had undue influence within the squad) are also making their own departures and with the guy who wore the head coach mantle in Currie Cup last year, Brad Macleod-Henderson, having resigned there is again a huge amount of uncertainty. Wild talk abounds, with every man and his dog who holds even a level 1 coaching certificate now poised to swoop in and become the next big thing who will reinvent and “save” Sharks rugby.

The way forward for the Sharks, I believe, is to not change everything all over again. The magic ingredient here is time and Gary Gold – the man appointed to make us great again – has not had that. He’s not had time and he’s not had total control and if he’s to be successful in the role appointed to him, he needs to very quickly step up and make it clear that he’s the man in charge, that he has a plan and that he knows how to execute it. Those wanting to throw stones will find plenty to hand and given just how badly his first 6 months in the job have gone, the Director will need a thick skin in order to deflect those.

Success, though, is not defined by never going through hard times or by never getting things wrong. You couldn’t ask for a tougher baptism into job than Gold has had I genuinely feel that over the next few months, we will learn a lot about the character of the man tasked with turning the Sharks into a championship-winning team.

Whoever the Sharks end up appointing to fill whatever vacant coaching roles they feel they have will be irrelevant, unless Gold has a clear plan, a clear blueprint and a rock-solid job description, with clear responsibilities, for every role to be filled by any coach, whether current or yet to be appointed. I would like him to rather focus on putting together and communicating that plan, before rushing out to the market to hire yet another head coach who may have different ideas entirely. First, he needs to be very clear about what it is that he’s looking for, then he needs to go out and find that person. In the meantime, he needs to find a way to get the Sharks through a trying Currie Cup campaign where anything worse than a semi-final appearance simply will not be tolerated. If that means he needs to coach the team himself for another six months, then that’s what he should do, rather than rushing an appointment and risking the purity of his plan and his vision.


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