Venter: Once a week at Sharks

2014-10-31 07:33
Brendan Venter (Gallo)
Durban -  The appointment of Gary Gold as the Sharks Director of Rugby is not merely intended fill a gap, but rather to add to a process that involves a number of steps to making the franchise a long-term success.

Whilst Gold’s appointment is an exciting one for the Sharks, success both on and off the field is crucially important for the Sharks.

Commenting on whether he hopes Gold’s appointment marks the start of a period of long term stability, CEO John Smit told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick: “Without doubt, I hope so. Hopefully from now on it’s all good stuff.

“Our job is to get everything right at the union, not just at a Director of Rugby and team level - what everyone sees; we want to get everything right and we won’t stop, even if it requires more change. We won’t stop until this is the perfect franchise.”

Smit has confirmed the coaching set-up as Gary Gold installed as the hands-on head coach, with the three 2014 Currie Cup coaches (Brad MacLeod-Henderson, Paul Anthony and Sean Everitt) as his assistants, with Brendan Venter adding technical support and advice.

“Brendan will provide intellectual property in terms of where the game is going, discussing trends and helping with detail,” Smit explained. “He will come in once a week depending on the emphasis of the skill-set for that week.

“But really, it’s to get the influence of Brendan’s energy. He does a lot of research on the game and he understands the game - all around the world. It’s just to have another brain amongst our coaching staff. It must be said, Gary asked if there was a chance to have Brendan involved. That’s the reputation he has and the impact he had on the players in last year’s Currie Cup. Having a role alongside Gary is a massive plus for the players.

“And Brendan sees something special here and would like to be a part of that.”

Smit has worked with Gold previously at the Springboks and it does help to make a decision when you not only know what a coach is capable of, but his personality too. The right fit is crucial.

“It was instrumental knowing what kind of person Gary is when making the appointment. I made no secret of the fact that whoever was brought in needs to be good inside, to their core, before looking at their skill set. A year relationship with Gary taking the pack of forwards during what was an enjoyable time to be in Bok camp had a huge role to play.

“It’s one of those relationships that when the opportunity arose to chat to him about his enthusiasm to join us, it was a no-brainer. And he reacted enthusiastically.”

Gold has made no secret of the fact that he embraces a philosophy of playing attacking rugby, that scoring tries will win more games than kicking a few penalties.

That’s what the fans want to see and something Smit is thrilled about as well.

“The coach’s vision is one that appeals to me; the process to get a replacement was an exhaustive one. We looked at a number of candidates, assessed the pros and cons of each. I understand how Gary thinks and how he works, and I certainly understand Brendan’s point of view as well. For me, with anyone who comes in and creates change, you’re looking for like-minded people who have a similar vision and can help each other.”


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