Johannesburg - Geoffrey Toyana has reflected on what has been a
disappointing season for the Highveld Lions, admitting that fine margins
were what ultimately left them finishing second last in all three franchise
The poor campaign has ultimately meant that the 44-year-old
will be redeployed to High Performance Coach from the start of next month, with
the Johannesburg-based outfit seeking a new man to replace him.
Toyana’s final season at the helm saw the Lions finish
bottom of the Sunfoil Series table with just one win, in their final game, all
season, while they ended second last in both the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge and
Momentum One-Day Cup campaigns.
"It was a tough season for us," Toyana says.
"When I sit now and look back, I think about how close we were compared to where we
actually finished. Some of the games were so close, there were really fine
margins and it’s really ended in a very disappointing campaign overall.
"In the T20 format we lost games we were supposed to have
won, it was the same in the Momentum One-Day Cup. The season was like that for
us in all the formats where we got close, we were competitive, but just fell
short. In the 50-over competition we were just a win away from making the
"But that’s what happens when you have a young side. Not to
make that as an excuse, but we should have executed better when we put
ourselves into those positions. But I know that we were not far off from
winning if you look at the positions we were in."
Toyana conceded that their final position in the four-day
format should have been better considering two big chances they had in winnable
games through the season.
"In the four-day format, the first four games were draws on
very good batting wickets," he explained.
"At that stage I took it upon myself
to try and make a play. We prepared a green top at the Wanderers against the
Multiply Titans and the result didn’t go our way. We had chances in that game
too, but were undone by those two Aiden Markram 80s.
"We had another chance in East London against the Warriors
too, but threw it away. The winning team this season won two games and had we
won one of those games it could have been a different story. So those were
costly results that we paid the price for and I’m very disappointed on the
Toyana, who has been coach of the Lions for the past six
seasons, says he was now looking forward to a new chapter in his career and
wishes his successor well.
"I’m moving on now and hopefully the new coach can come in
and carry the baton forward," he added.
"I wish him all the best.
"I’m very happy to be now moving to a role I’m so passionate
about at the Lions. I’ve always been a fan of young players in the system and
hopefully I’ll help the franchise help more young players come through."