Sharks secure in Gold’s hands
FORMER Sharks captain Gary Teichmann believes the appointment of Gary Gold as their Currie Cup coach was good for continuity, but feels the Durban franchise needs to place a major emphasis on how they manage their youth systems in the future.
Director of Rugby Gold was surprisingly named as their head coach for the competition, which starts in early August, despite stating weeks earlier that he would be relinquishing duty to focus fully on overseeing the overall coaching structure.
He will now head the campaign with Sean Everitt (backs) and Ryan Strudwick (forwards) working alongside him when the Sharks kick off their campaign against the Pumas in Nelspruit.
Teichmann believes the move was a safe option for the KwaZulu-Natal side.
“They initially said that Gary wasn’t going to be the coach, so there’s obviously something that has happened in between,” he said.
“There was probably no one that they could secure or were comfortable that they had the right credentials.
“I suppose then it’s the right thing because the last thing you want to do is appoint a guy you don’t have 100% confidence in. We’ve just had too many coaches, so I think that’s probably what’s happened.
“Gary has been with the Super Rugby side, so it just creates that little bit of stability I think, instead of just putting someone for the sake of filling the position.”
The Sharks are coming off one of their most woeful Super Rugby campaigns in their history when they finished second bottom of the South African Conference and in 11th place overall.
They managed to win less than half of their 16 matches and played poorly in the main.
But ex-Springbok skipper Teichmann feels the blame cannot squarely lie on the shoulders of Gold, who only arrived in February due to his commitments with previous club Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers in Japan.
He continued: “It’s difficult to tell from the outside. I don’t think coming in as late as he did at the start of the season helped.
“That wasn’t the right thing and from that perspective it wasn’t the ideal start. We all know what happened in the Super Rugby season. But I think it will be unfair to put it all on Gary. He didn’t have enough time with the players.”
Teichmann (48), a legend of Sharks rugby having sent almost the entire 1990s at King’s Park, feels the most critical thing for the Durban side to fix going forward was how they manage their youth systems.
“For me going forward, I think what needs some serious attention is our youth programme,” he explained.
“I think if there’s sort of a two- or three-year building plan, playing the right brand of rugby then I think the public will buy into that.
“They have to really work towards getting that Sharks culture back and the only way to do that is by having a strong youth programme.
“You want to make sure you keep your home-grown players. We shouldn’t be letting young players slip out of our system. You also need to make sure we have the right coaching at those levels because that’s where your depth is going to come from.”
He had no problem with signing high-profile players too, as the Sharks had done in recent times, but felt that this should only be done if there was a strong need to.
Meanwhile, Teichmann insisted it was not unrealistic for the Sharks to go on and win the Currie Cup, a competition they have won seven times in their history.
“It’s a realistic target,” he added. “If you saw that [Super Rugby] game against the Lions [in April] at Ellis Park, there were a lot of unknown players, who put up a good show.
“But I don’t see why not. It is going to be difficult, but it can be done.”