JOHANNESBURG – “I’m a cricket coach, I’m very passionate about being out on the field, helping to make players better, I can’t sit behind a desk,” Geoffrey Toyana said yesterday about his return to wearing trainers and tracksuits.
Toyana was at SuperSport Park at 6am yesterday to start his new job as head coach of the senior Northerns provincial men’s team, his first coaching gig since he was removed as the Highveld Lions coach last year.
His contract with the Lions franchise, which saw him fulfil the role of high performance coach in his last year, ended in April.
“I had been without a job since, had no income for two months. I had to get back to work again.”
Toyana is returning to the province where he spent most of his playing career, either for the Titans or as a member of the Easterns franchise.
“There are no franchise coaching jobs going at the moment, they’re all filled. You could say last year was a step down for me,” Toyana said. “I see this as a great opportunity, to help young players’ careers and to do so at a first-class level and a union that has a fantastic reputation and work ethic.
“I just hope to add value there.”
The Lions won four trophies under Toyana’s coaching, but finished last in the four-day competition and second last in both white-ball competitions in the 2017/18 season, leading the franchise to axe him.
He was replaced by Enoch Nkwe.
Toyana, who lives in Centurion, takes over from JP Triegaardt, who moved to Griquas
“The ultimate goal is to produce players for the Titans and, having previously been involved with franchise as a player, I know the culture and understand what’s required in order to compete at that level,” said Toyana.
The Northerns Senior Provincial squad 2019/20:
Rubin Hermann, Gionne Koopman, Kyle Simmonds, Gregory Mahlokwana, Victor Mahlangu, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Luvuyo Nkese, Gideon Peters, Jiveshen Pillay, Diego Rosier, Ruben Trupelmann.@shockerhess