Coetzee happy to coach Namibia

Rudi Bowe

Newly appointed national rugby team coach Allister Coetzee is happy to be the head coach of the Namibian National Rugby team.

Earlier this week the 58-year-old Coetzee who take up position as head coach of Namibia until after the 2023 World Cup in France candidly spoke in an interview with the Namib Times from his home in Cape Town about his current position and shared his view and sentiments of his first tour with the Namibian national rugby team.
Coetzee said that the Rugby Africa Cup championships in Ivory Coast was an eye opener for him as it was his first ever tour on the African continent and that it was challenging from the start with a lot of logistical issues.
According to Coetzee his first game against Ivory Coast was lost as a result of ill-disciplined conceding a lot of penalties and a yellow card as well, so we lost to ourselves. We are very dis-appointed in a lack of performance and a lot of un-forced errors and a lack of execution of our plan.”
Coetzee also explained that part of the loss against the host Ivory Coast was that the team last played at the RWC in 2019, about 19 months ago and obviously due to Covid there was no rugby played since and a lack of team cohesion, match sharpness and readiness were obvious prevalent and the team was also not the strongest possible squad that went over, due to numerous Covid withdrawals, players sighting family reasons others could not come due to club commitments.
Coetzee said “Despite all the negatives there was no excuses we had a job to do. I was very pleased with the efforts of an inexperienced group of guys especially the 8 first caps who got the opportunity and experienced to play test rugby. All the players showed great courage and effort.”
“It was then crucial to get it right in a 4 day turn around a match against Madagascar. We planned well, simplified everything, put extra effort in the defence and the players went out and proved that they desperately wanted to win.”
“We started with the wind and the quick points on the board gave us confidence and put pressure on Madagascar. Our basics were better and took most of our opportunities. We made sure of the bonus point and also prevented Madagascar to get one. The bench made good impact to keep the intensity up in the last 20 minutes and sealed a good 23-man effort 52-10 victory against Madagascar to advance as Group A winners to the final round of qualifiers for the 2023 World cup” Coetzee said. On the way forward for Namibian rugby Coetzee explained that they need to select a bigger and the best possible squad, make more time for preparation and to ensure the players stay well-conditioned through collaboration with the clubs and coaches in Namibia.
Coetzee added “I can’t wait to come and spend time with the senior club coaches in Namibia as I need their input and the local league must become stronger and competitive to improve the players to build a stronger National team.
Commenting on his new job, he said: “As a coach, this is what you want to be doing. You want to coach at the highest level.
Coetzee is hoping to build on the gains made by his predecessor Phil Davies as Namibia embark on their Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification journey and wants to expose his players to a good level of competition outside of the test windows, particularly for Namibia’s domestic players.
“I will be monitoring the players and stay in touch with them” Coetzee said.

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