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    Cheetahs extend Naka's stay

    2011-06-10 07:40
    Jóhann Thormählen

    Bloemfontein - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské will have the opportunity to build on this year's Super Rugby achievements for the next three years.

    Drotské and the Cheetahs Company reached an agreement about his future as head coach at a board meeting on Thursday.

    His current contract ends after this year's tournament and his term as Free State's Currie Cup coach concludes in October. Negotiations about Drotské's future as Currie Cup coach have also gone well, but are yet to be finalised.

    Cheetahs Company managing director Harold Verster said that Drotské had also made a request about who he would like in his coaching team and that it had to be approved by the Cheetahs' partners.

    A decision about a successor for Pine Pienaar at the Free State under-21 and coaches of junior teams was also taken at the meeting. Pienaar will soon be joining the Blue Bulls.

    Drotské’s appointment will come as a relief for the Cheetahs as they are now in a better position to negotiate with players about their futures.

    The Cheetahs have been playing such good rugby this year that a number of their young players have made it onto the shopping lists of other provinces.

    Drotské has managed five victories with the Cheetahs in 2010 and 2011 - a record for them in the Super Rugby tournament.

    "Naka has been appointed Cheetahs coach in the Super Rugby tournament for the next three years. He accepted the contract we offered him. As far as the Currie Cup position is concerned, we had positive negotiations with him and everything still has to be finalised," said Verster.

    Verster said that the local board members and management were satisfied with the decisions taken on Thursday, but it still has to be approved by the full board, which includes other partners.

    Pienaar, who is the assistant coach of the South Africa under-20 side, recently resigned as Free State's under-21 and Vodacom Cup coach.

    Verster said that Joe Beukes, who was Pienaar's assistant at both teams, would coach the under-21 side this year. He will be assisted by Ashwell Rafferty as backline coach, with Ingo Machts the team manager.

    A decision about who will coach Free State's Vodacom Cup team in 2012 will be taken later.

    Verster said that the appointment of the head of the Free State Academy - a position also previously held by Pienaar - would be finalised later.

    Former Free State Currie Cup coach Peet Kleynhans will be head coach of the under-19 side. Wessel du Plessis will be his assistant coach, with Thys Nel as team manager.
     
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