CSA have revamped the Protea set up. The man they have appointed as interim team manager is Lions coach Enoch Nkwe. The 36 year old is a former first class player whose career was cut short due to injury and since then has made strides in his coaching career. Having had success with the Gauteng Strikers, he then coached in the Netherlands at club level and eventually became the assistant coach of the Netherlands. He then went on to be the assistant coach of the Protea women’s team once he returned to South Africa and in May 2018 he replaced Geoffrey Toyana as head coach of the Lions.
Enoch then went on to win 3 out of 4 domestic competitions, namely the 4day competition, the T20 domestic cup and the inaugural Mzanzi Super League. Nkwe is the first Black African to take charge of the national side and this should be seen as progress in the quest for transformation on sport in SA. While it is only an interim post, I’m sure Enoch will see it as an opportunity to stake a claim to getting the job on a permanent basis.
It will not be easy for Enoch however as the Proteas next line up against the number one test nation in the world, India! India will provide the sort of baptism of fire that can either make or break Enoch’s career and given the fact that they are playing in India, makes it all the more difficult for both him and the team coming off the back of a poor world cup performance.
While I applaud Enoch’s meteoric rise in the sport I can’t help but feel this opportunity has come too soon for him. I have no doubt through his success at first class level that he is a very good coach, it’s just perhaps his lack of experience and lack of experience in the sub-continent that raise alarm bells for me. However CSA have shown with this appointment that they are not afraid to be brave with their selections going forward and I think the Proteas could do with a bit of bravery in their cricket.
Lance Klusner has also been brought in as well and I think he is a great appointment, Klusner’s experience and knowhow will be key in the upcoming tour of India and he can make up for the fact that Enoch is inexperienced in the sub-continent. Klusner has also said that he wants to bring back the “passion” to the Protea set up. I think it has been quite evident through recent performances that the Proteas look as if they are going through the motions, so bringing back one of the old guard will serve them well.
The Proteas are still a team in transition and I suspect results will reflect that in the coming months and for probably the next year or so until we establish a consistent team that can perform well under pressure. This is the time us as fans need to be patient with our boys as I guarantee they are giving it their all. I think after the tour of India we will get a more long term plan from CSA as to which direction they want to go in so for now we back the team and the coach because they need our support now more than ever. I wish Enoch and Lance all the best in India and I hope the boys can make us proud once again.