Geoff Toyana: A coach whose time has come

Cricket or pro sport’s vicissitudes has not spared Toyana but he’s had to learn how to bounce back

25 June 2017 - 00:05 By LIAM DEL CARME

As a self-described product of transformation, Geoff Toyana believes he is ideally placed to tackle the issue head-on were he to be installed Proteas coach. Toyana this week threw his hat into the ring for the position after Cricket SA ( CSA ) invited applications for the job currently held by Russell Domingo.
Toyana ’s candidature will be monitored with more than just passing interest. The 43-year-old has made a name for himself on the local coaching firmament, guiding the Lions to trophy-winning performances, but his team has also frequented theopposite end of the performance scale. He has spent a decade on the local coachingscene but he concedes that he has no international experience. However, the currentProteas coaching staff, which includes
Domingo, Adrian Birrell, Neil McKenzie, Charl Langeveldt and Claude Henderson, has noblack African representation, and it is a situation CSA would want to address soonerrather than later. Toyana believes it is his duty to embrace the wider responsibility should CSA ask him to take over from Domingo. “We have a responsibility. I believe transformation is a change of mindset. I am a product of transformation. I understand transformation. I know what it is like to train in a township with no facilities,” he said.“It is also important that we now start backing the young coaches. We have lots of guys coming through like Mandla Mashimbyi at the Titans, Malibongwe Maketa, who hasbeen head coach at the Warriors for the last three years. There is Larry [Mahatlane] with the [South African] Under-19s who has done some good work. “When the guys are in those positions, they must not forget where they come from.”“It was quite tough because there were times when I doubted my ability. I wasn’t sureI was cut out for this.” Toyana recalled the mental toll it took but was grateful for the support he got from the franchise chief executive, Greg Fredericks. “Then we won the Sunfoil Series for the first time since 1999 when I was still a player here ,” he said...

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