UCT coach: I want Bok job

2011-04-15 08:02
Kevin Foote (Gallo)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town - Kevin Foote, the former Matie turned Ikeys-coach that helped the University of Cape Town win their first Varsity Cup title this year, has set his sights on coaching the Springboks one day.

"I drew up a timeline for myself and my biggest goal is to coach the Springboks at the 2019 World Cup in Japan," the former Springbok Sevens player told Sport24 on Thursday.

"Of course I would also love to get involved with Western Province and the Stormers in the future. I have a British passport, but I'm very happy with my involvement at Bishops and Ikeys, and to get involved at WP will be first prize."

Foote, 32, assists Dave Mallett with the coaching of the first team at Bishops and got his foot in the coaching door at Ikeys when Robbie Fleck was appointed as WP's backline coach.

His promotion to the head coaching role at Ikeys came when previous coach John Dobson was also taken up in the WP structures.

Ikeys previously reached two Varsity Cup finals under Dobson, but lost both to Maties. However, this year they clinched the title with a 26-16 win over Tukkies in Pretoria.

Foote attended King Edward School in Johannesburg and started his studies at the erstwhile Rand Afrikaans University. However, he fell in love with Stellenbosch when he visited his brother in the Cape and moved there midway through 1999.

At Maties he was coached at Under-21 level by current South African Rugby Union (SARU) chief executive Jurie Roux.

Foote represented WP at Under-21 level in 2000 and then moved to Durban. There he represented the Natal Wildebeest in the Vodacom Cup before playing Sevens rugby.

His rugby career also took him to SWD, but it was an easy decision to make when Alan Solomons called and asked whether he was interested in playing for Ikeys as his employer in George had defaulted on paying his salary.

Foote captained the Ikeys from 2005 until 2007 before setting his sights on coaching in 2008.

What is remarkable about the Ikeys' success story, according to Foote, is that none of their players are paid.

"The guys play for the love of it. If you look at the defence in the last 10 minutes of the final you could see how much it meant to the players. The students are playing rugby to find some balance. They love the game and our way of playing. We like to move the ball around."

Foote was also helped by some competent assistants and the coaches also make sacrifices for the club and its players.

"Our defence coach Dave Wessels moved out of his flat (in Rondebosch) to go and stay with a friend to give Ricky Schroeder and Sam Lane accommodation. Sam is injured and couldn't play, but Ricky was immense for us," he said.

The club also attracted excellent young players such as WP Under-19 flank Nizaam Carr and lock Eben Etzebeth.

"We give opportunities to players and they see that. They asked me whether they would get opportunities to play and I said definitely if they put their hands up," said Foote.

"Nizaam was originally not in the SA Under-20 squad, but was called up after two good performances for us. Eben was among the contenders for the player of the tournament and was still on the WP Under-19 team's substitutes bench last year. He also made a big contribution for us."

Foote is young for a coach, but he believes that it is actually an advantage.

"I retired quite young as a player after suffering a bad leg break. It's nice to stay involved through coaching and I know what players go through. I wanted to stay involved in rugby and love Ikeys, so it was a perfect match."

A donation of $1 million by UCT old boy and former Coca-Cola chief executive Neville Isdell looks set to help the club build their own stadium, so that they no longer have to give up home advantage in finals.

Somehow they have to find another R13 million, but Foote is confident that they should have a new home ground by 2013.

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