Walter quits as Titans coach

2016-07-06 21:00
rob walter
Rob Walter (Gallo Images)
Centurion - Rob Walter, the most successful domestic coach the past two seasons who transformed the Titans into a local powerhouse, has resigned as coach of the franchise and has taken up the position of head coach of Otago in New Zealand.
Walter will start his new tenure in New Zealand on September 1, 2016.
Under the astute guidance of Walter, a former South African conditioning coach, the Titans shared the One-Day Cup with the Cape Cobras in 2013/2014.
They took sole ownership of the same limited-overs trophy in 2014/2015, beating the same foes in comprehensive fashion.
Subsequently, they achieved the coveted domestic double last season by triumphing in the T20 Challenge and the four-day series.
“Rob pioneered a new spirit in the Titans cricketing family, “said Jacques Faul, the Titans’ chief executive officer.
“It was a value- and person-centred approach to raise the standards of fitness and cohesion while setting goals in association with each player in order to maximise individual’s potential.
“This approach has proven infinitely successful.
“He has transformed the franchise in many ways. It was evident in the way the franchise batting improved the past two seasons, as our top- and middle-order produced 22 centuries in two seasons.
“We also improved our consistency in the bowling department.
“Many players blossomed under Rob’s watch.
“It would be mere folly to highlight just one or two.
“Yet, you have to look at what Qaasim Adams, Dean Elgar (in all formats),  David Wiese, Farhaan Behardien, Chris Morris (in all formats),  Tabraiz Shamsi (in T20-cricket and first-class cricket), Junior Dala, Ethy Mbhalati, Heino Kuhn, Mangaliso Mosehle, Albie Morkel (in the limited formats) and Quinton de Kock achieved with Rob at the helm,”  Faul said.
“The Titans were explosive and attack-minded. They pursued wins but encapsulated the spirit and values of good sportsmanship. The work-ethic throughout the year was five-star,” the CEO explained.
Walter leaves the Titans in a healthy position. Not only did they win the domestic double in 2015/2016, but there were also several barn-storming performances by junior and senior stalwarts which caught the eye.
De Kock struck 437 runs in the T20 Challenge, Kuhn hammered 1126 runs in the four-day series, while Adams, Elgar, Mbhalati, Marchant de Lange and Shamsi all flourished in the four-day arena in 2015/2016.
Morkel was superb with bat, ball and in wearing the captain’s armband in one of the most memorable T20 Challenges in many years. David Wiese, Morris,  De Kock, Henry Davids and Shamsi all contributed in exemplary fashion.
“Rob was an exponent of developing individuals and in creating a healthy competitive squad-system,” Faul said.
“Grant Thomson, Graham van Buuren and Eldred Hawken made their presence felt during different stages of the 2015/2016-season, which underpins the successful approach by the coach,” said Faul.
“It is indeed a dark day for Titans cricket to lose a coach of Rob’s stature. We want to pay tribute to his enormous contribution. We wish him and his family well when they embark on a new chapter of his cricketing odyssey in Otago, New Zealand,” the CEO added.
“What prompted my decision is that I have a young family and I wish to pursue a new coaching challenge in a different environment that will help me grow as a coach,” Walter said.
“I would like to thank Jacques for his unwavering support.
‘His continual drive to make the Titans the premier franchise in the country was in turn an encouragement for me to push the team to do the same.
‘’He went a long way in helping to create an awesome environment for the players to arrive to each day. No request was ever too big and none of the team’s success would have been possible without his passion to help me create something special,” Walter remarked.
“I also salute my management team and support staff for their amazing attitude and for sharing my vision and goals. Whatever success we have achieved as a team is as much a tribute to their hard work as it is to mine!
“Obviously I have to pay tribute to the players because they had to buy into a vision in order for it to produce results.
“Their work ethic has been unbelievable and they have conducted themselves in a very professional and passionate manner, both on and off the field. It has been an awesome privilege working with each and every one of them” the outgoing Titans coach added.
Walter said there were several stand-out moments which he would relish. One of his aims was to transform the Titans to the summit of the four-day series, and this came to fruition after three years of toil.
The pursuit of a competitive total against the Warriors in East London in order to achieve a bonus-point win in 2013/2014 that would propel The Titans to a semi-final play-off was extraordinary.
In the semi-final play-off different players excelled against the Dolphins. The Titans soared to the final (Kuhn, Van Buuren and Mosehle were superb with the blade).
The sensational partnership between Elgar and Morkel when The Titans were in the mire on 60 for four in the One Day Cup final in 2014/2015 and required to chase down 286 to win, proved to be another significant and historic milestone.
Morkel struck an unbeaten 134 and Elgar scored 100 as the Titans claimed a win in emphatic five-wicket fashion.
The record breaking nine consecutive T20 victories in last season’s T20 tournament was a magnificent achievement considering the team had come last in the competition the season before.
Walter said he won’t easily forget the way in which the Titans achieved a draw against the defending champions, the Highveld Lions, in the penultimate match of the four-day series last season.  Their defiant stone-walling prevented the Lions from lifting the spoils again.
The final match of the season was another triumph for the Hennops River squad as Rowan Richards captured 7-40 to send the Titans into cricketing Nirvana to seal the four-day series title, winning by a slender 10-run margin.
Individuals and their progress were also heart-warming and for him definitely the most satisfying part of the job.
He also witnessed the growth of Wiese into a Protea player. He oversaw the evolution of Morris to a test-star and aided Shamsi into developing from a semi-professional bowler into a wrist spinner who represented South Africa within two seasons.
Walter also played a role in assisting Dean Elgar and Farhaan Behardien in becoming regulars for the Proteas in their respective formats.
“I could literally celebrate some personal achievement with every player that I have worked with over the past three years,” Walter said.
“For that, I am eternally grateful. Those are the moments that you cherish and reflect on as a coach.
‘The realisation that I will be ending my journey at the Titans is extremely sad because I have loved very moment of the journey,” Walter emphasised.
“Yet, in the same breath, I am grateful that the Titans have allowed me to pursue another exciting opportunity in my coaching career,” he added.
“Rob was a custodian of a holistic approach to develop human beings. He adhered to strong values while leaving nothing to chance in preparing for the domestic season,” said Faul.  

Read more on:    titans  |  rob walter  |  cricket

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