A little over a week ago I wrote the article “5 players that enhanced their reputations at the indoor IPT” to great reception. Since that I have been working on the Hockey 24 Seven Podcast with Derek Alberts and Rayder Media (Check it out here). But with a fresh mind I have the follow up to the previous article, its the coaches turn. With 26 teams playing in the 2019 Indoor IPT across the three tournaments, there were a few coaches that stood out for me in Pietermaritzburg.
Ross Willis – Western Province
At just 26 years of age, it appeared Western Province had taken a rather strange decision to appoint Ross as head coach for the Indoor IPT. Instead of a strange or crazy decision, it turned out to be a stroke of genius as Willis led the team to their first indoor title in 12 years and just their second since 1986. It was not winning the title that was the most impressive aspect of Willis approach, it was the meticulous way he planned for each and every game and opposition. This man has a bright future in coaching!
Bridget Kee – Southern Gauteng Wits
I wanted to point out one game in specific when it comes to Bridget Kee. Bridget who could not play in the IPT due to injury took the reigns of the Wits side in the B Section and finished the group stage in 4th place. They were due to face African Champions Namibia in the playoffs, who they had been trounced by just 24 hours earlier. Instead the game plan applied and the tactics adopted by Kee’s team were nothing short of perfect. At the end they fell 4-3 in a superb game that they were unlucky not to finish level. It was also a glowing recommendation on the coaching CV of Kee.
David Joshua – Northern Gauteng
There is undoubtedly something thrilling about watching teams that David Joshua coaches. Having spent many years at Southern Gauteng he skipped over the Jukskei and has flourished since. His Northerns side were fantastic in the games against Western Province and the KZN Raiders, both of whom were expected to dish out a good beating. It would not surprise me if the vacant SA Mens Indoor position has Joshua as one of the potential candidates to fill the void.
Trevor Cormack – Namibia
Trevor Cormack is a superb coach. Calling him superb is almost an injustice as he is much better than that. The Namibian team remarkably secured their route to the final without tasting defeat despite playing the much fancied KZN Inland and the KZN Raiders. They were also missing at least 3 players who could be considered first choice. If South Africa had not taken notice of the Namibian rise, they surely will now. Trevor will not take the glory for himself, but he really should as he is the man who has developed a culture of excellence.
Blake Goosen – Southern Gauteng
You don’t break the stranglehold of the SPAR KZN Raiders without at least enhancing your reputation. With Goosen’s appointment as coach being a late interim position, his leading the team to the title poses difficult questions for the hierarchy of Southern Gauteng Hockey. Where I thought Blake was particularly impressive was not necessarily on the tactical aspect of the game, but rather the combinations he put together on the field. At all times his weaker players were protected and his stronger players were given the combinations needed to make a difference. All eyes will definitely be on Southerns and Goosen in Indoor IPT 2020.
With indoor hockey experiencing its current spurt of interest and growth, with PSi fast producing the quantity of quality players, the sport of indoor hockey will continue to blossom and the players will continue to grow due to the coaches here!