Drotske's job on the line?

2012-10-16 12:38

Johannesburg - The future of Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske and his assistants is very much on the line when they face the EP Kings in Bloemfontein in their promotion-relegation match on Friday.

According to website, but Drotske and co may not be the only ones who come under the spotlight, as a much wider-reaching “cleanout” is on the cards if the Cheetahs do not stay in the Premier division of Absa Currie Cup rugby and lose to the Kings.

While there is a lot of pressure on Drotske and his team this week, it has been compounded by talk in Bloemfontein of “heads rolling” if the Cheetahs lose.

Free State Rugby Union President Lyndsey Mould told Die Volksblad that he would launch an investigation as early as next week into why the Cheetahs were in this position.

“If we beat the EP Kings on Friday or not, I want to get all the decisionmakers together and if we have to act aggressively, we will do that,” Mould told the newspaper.

“A lot of things have gone wrong this season and we have played without a number of our stalwarts, but that is no excuse. There simply isn’t any excuse.”

The Cheetahs have thus far stuck by coach Drotske, even though he has never managed to finish higher than 10th in the Vodacom Super Rugby series and their last Currie Cup success was in 2007.

The team is also playing in their first promotion-relegation game since 1988, and a loss would be devastating to the union.

“If we are to be relegated, it will have major consequences for the Free State Rugby Union. We will lose sponsorships and that will mean that everybody’s jobs will be on the line. Friday night is all that the players and management must focus on, nothing else.”

But Free State Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster has defended the team, saying they are well managed and that it was too early to talk about firing coaches.

“We have to right the wrongs, no matter how hard it is. In any business if there is trouble, then you need to look at the problems and make the necessary decisions to right them,” Verster said.

“There are many people who think that Free State Rugby is badly run, but I don’t see it. We are a professional entity. When we applied for a Super Rugby franchise, we were second best of all the local teams because of our business plan. The Cheetahs are still run on the same plan.”

Verster said Toyota were committed to the team until the end of 2013.


  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 12:45

    GO VRYSTAAT!!!!!!!!!!

      nadine.devilliers - 2012-10-16 12:49


      sheldon.behr - 2012-10-16 13:04

      The kings are unbeaten this year and know how win away from home. Bye bye vrystaat!!!!!!!!

      robbie.crouch - 2012-10-16 13:06

      @ nadine... wat hulle lag lag sal wen!

      pierrefrewd.juice - 2012-10-16 13:08

      @ sheldon, although i think the FS deserve to play the Kings after they and their buddies at province shafted the Lions, the mighty Kings dont stand a chance in hell to beat them. not in a million years I tell you.

      BlouMasjien1 - 2012-10-16 13:12

      @sheldon, 'and know how win away from home" Thanks for the laugh !

      ruan.smith.14 - 2012-10-16 13:14

      He shouldve gone a long time ago, im a cheetah supporter, but feel that his initial success came from using Rassie's game plans etc. And when the rules and the game moved on he just hasnt been up to standard. Also his selections have been terrible when you look at players he keeps on pushing like " Tewis, eks n rumour, de Bruin"!!

  • martincandis.vanstaden - 2012-10-16 12:52

    Hoekom het kings nie die lions gespeel om in super rugby te kom nie. WP het so clean up nodig.

  • nico.pretorius.946 - 2012-10-16 13:01

    GO Cheetahs!! Beat those rugby wannabies and stay in CC :)

  • robbie.crouch - 2012-10-16 13:05

    Go Vrystaat and fire Harold.

      rickey.tickey - 2012-10-16 14:38

      Tough call Robbie. With the current situation in SA Rugby, I'd rather stay with the devil I know.

      jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-16 15:24

      great call robbie.

  • marius.theron.31 - 2012-10-16 13:07

    Ek dink ook daar is n probleem met die afrigtings-korps. Nuwe bloed nodig.

  • Spiessa - 2012-10-16 13:10

    "too early to talk about firing coaches..." WTF. Cheetahs have had no success since 2007. Naka has had five years. I think that is long enough! Surely someone has to take responsibility after five friggen years. We Cheetah supporters are a patient and loyal lot, but I think we have waited long enough now. Way too many games have been lost in the last 10 minutes of a game. Surely it is the coach who has to prepare/motivate the players to close out a game...

      niel.walt - 2012-10-16 13:26

      The supporters are largely to blame aswell I think, fullstands = full pockets, full pockets keep players because they can afford to pay them.

      martincandis.vanstaden - 2012-10-16 13:57

      No success in 5 years,Try WP with 12 Year and all 12 was the year. I'm so gatvol hearing a WP supporter writing this year is our year.

  • BlouMasjien1 - 2012-10-16 13:33

    If he is fired, the okes in Bloem should lock up their wifes

      pierrefrewd.juice - 2012-10-16 13:49

      yup, a bored Naka, is a horny Naka.

  • denese.newby - 2012-10-16 13:39


      martincandis.vanstaden - 2012-10-16 14:00

      The Kings will think 100 times to join the super rugby after this game against the Cheetahs.

      rickey.tickey - 2012-10-16 14:46

      I am sure they will try their best but we must realise they will confront the Kings without Coenie, Brussow and Goosen. Does not loook good.

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-16 16:51

      I'm also a huge SHARKS supporter, we need the Cheetahs to remain strong. They our Sharks bloem branch rugby academy.

      niel.walt - 2012-10-16 20:05

      Ricky, I am also worried! They don't seem to have that character and fight like cheetah teams of the past had

  • - 2012-10-16 14:05

    In an earlier article Verster was telling us how organised and efficient they are but now thy want heads to roll.

  • rickey.tickey - 2012-10-16 14:25

    Tyd dat Pote Human en Naka rolle omruil. Pote slaag daarin om elke jaar 'n Griekwa span saam te stel wat elke nou en dan vriend en vyand verras.... en dit wil voorkom asof hy gewild is onder die spelers. Ek sou beslis voorstel dat Pote 'n kans as afrigter kry met die Cheetah S15 span en dan op 'n proefbasis (1 of 2 jaar) rolle met Naka omruil tydens die CC kompetisie.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-16 14:39

    I hope the Cheetahs beat the living daylights out of the Kings on Friday night. Will that beating remove the smug look on cheekys face though, or must somebody give him a p**s klap to get it off!!

      jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-16 16:48

      sies gary. sies.

  • john.maree.90 - 2012-10-16 14:40

    my jinne die EP Kings het supporters... HKM... dit is veronderstel om n BEE span tewees mar al BEE sit op die bench??

      blou.johnny - 2012-10-16 15:31

      ....Cheeky en sy comrades..... ...He he he he..!

  • peter.brown.940436 - 2012-10-16 15:15

    A Cheetahs supporter and Living in the East Cape Go Boys Flatten the Kings one time an All

  • unclejb.vansiths - 2012-10-16 15:27

    Come on you Kings we know we are unbeatable at Fortress Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. KINGS forever and ALWAYS!!!

  • carla.croft.77 - 2012-10-16 15:41

    Second best business plan when Cheetahs applied for franchise......Ai, Verster, is this your best explanation......things change....

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-10-16 16:33

    In this life you are only judged by your results. Naked's results do not look good at all. I think his time is up.

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-10-16 19:01

    This province deserves better. They have been breeding ground of great players. They have been unable to retain key players, keeping them on a constant back foot. On top of that they must content with an ineffective coach. They need a good sponsor and a good coach. Despite this, they will demolish the EP-ANC Kings.

  • lourius.strydom - 2012-10-16 20:01

    Drop Drotske and put in Brendan Venter

  • jan.spamer - 2012-10-17 06:42

    Fire Naka and Harold!!! Get rid of the baantjies vir boeties system in the FRU.

      ruan.smith.14 - 2012-10-18 13:03

      Yes its terrible how that works in FS.

      wassie.wasserman - 2012-10-22 07:35

      Ek kan nie meer met jou saam stem nie die Cheethas kort n nuwe bestuur en afrigterspan los net vir Os daar hy doen goeie werk

  • tom.t.kirsten - 2012-10-17 08:02

    Die Super 15 span moet aan Griekwas gegee word want die beter spelers van die Cheethas se super 15 span kom van Griekwas en daar sal ook meer toeskouers wees in Kimberley.

  • herman.booysen2 - 2012-10-17 12:30

    Julle het dit almal mis, ek weet as is verbrande hout maar ! Die bokke het n groot inpak op die uitslae die jaar, jy kan my se wat jy will, hulle is veronderstel om op international vlak te presteer en nie hulle "rammetjie uitnek" te kom hou om die uitslag van die CC te bepaal nie. Waarom nie bokke uit in CC hulle het mos Super 15 in elke streek en maak die CC open nie.

  • schalk.vanschalkwyk.16 - 2012-10-17 13:17

    Tom jy maak jou naam gat !!! so groot soos Kimberley se GAT..... GWK kon dan nie een game die Cheetahs wen nie !!!!

  • andre.swanepoel.167 - 2012-10-17 16:35

    I HOPE SO!!!!

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