Jake's way the right way: coach
Durban - Sharks assistant coach Paul Anthony is highly impressed by the structures put in place at the Durban-based union, reports Sharks website
editor Michael Marnewick
An important goal for the Sharks is their stated aim to be a successful franchise, and to do this, it’s not only about assembling the right team and management, but also about the right mindset.
Success breeds success and a culture of success will beget more success. So it is also important that from a junior level all the way up, success is a habit that should be part of their make-up.
One man who understands this is Anthony who has been recruited after a very successful stint with the Blue Bulls Under-19s and understands what it takes and can walk the talk.
“I’d been at the Bulls for almost 10 years and John Smit contacted me, saying he’d like me to come over to the Sharks,” he explains of his move to Durban from Pretoria. “My contract was ending at the end of this season and I accepted his offer.”
His position is an assistant coach and his role will be working with the forwards.
He enjoyed great success with the Bulls junior sides, featuring in seven finals. “Unfortunately, we were losing finalists in three consecutive seasons, losing by three point margins, before finally winning this year. It was good to be there, good to win it this year when the team enjoyed an unbeaten run, winning all 14 matches in the competition. It meant ending off my career at the Bulls on a high note.”
“What I’ve seen is fantastic,” he says of his early impressions. “The facilities are way better than I had anticipated, outstanding. What has also impressed me hugely is the players’ attitudes. They are willing and work hard. My impression of the Sharks before coming here was that they were easy-come-easy-go, but I have found the players to be responsive, training is going great.
“I’m really enjoying this experience.”
And what of the new coaching set-up and their programmes?
“What Jake has brought in might be new to me, but I really believe it is the way to go. I’ve always believed it was the way to go and to see it coming into play here, I’m 100% happy with that. I’m a big believer in intensity in training and although I work only with the forwards, my sessions are very intense. I believe that the fitter and stronger you are, the more you will be in the game. I believe in hard work, as Jake says ‘knowing where you are going’ is vital, and of course attitude and camaraderie is important.
“Once those are put in place and balanced with the technical know-how and the knowledge of where you are going, I think success will follow.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that Super Rugby is a very difficult competition. It is relentless, week-in-week-out hard work. It’s a massive challenge.”