After five seasons with the Cell C Sharks, initially as an assistant coach and thereafter as Head Coach, Robert du Preez will take up the next chapter of his coaching career. This decision is a mutual one and both The Sharks and Robert have parted ways amicably.
Robert remains a proud Shark, who represented this team as a former scrumhalf and held the Head Coach role in both the Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby competitions, in the latter taking the team to the knock-out rounds and quarter-final action in back-to-back campaigns.
Last year, against all odds, the team caused a major upset in beating Western Province at Newlands to lift the Currie Cup trophy.
The Sharks CEO, Gary Teichmann said: “The Sharks thank Robert for his contribution over the past few years and what he managed to achieve by moulding a young group of players. He leaves The Sharks with our good wishes for the next chapter in his coaching career.”
Robert du Preez stated: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Sharks and I am proud of what we have achieved. I would have loved to put more silverware in the cabinet, but sometimes injuries to key players, the bounce of the ball or decisions going against your team prevents that. I look forward to the next phase of my coaching career and wish the team well for the future. They can always count on my support.”
In other news, the Cell C Sharks will also bid a fond farewell to the du Preez twins, Daniel and Jean-Luc, who came to the union fresh out of school and have both made an immense mark on the local and international rugby landscape.
Big, physical and abrasive, this loose-forward pairing frequently played together during their time with the Cell C Sharks in both the Vodacom Super Rugby and the Currie Cup, with Jean-Luc making his test debut for South Africa in 2016 and Daniel a year later in 2017.
Jean-Luc spent a loan period with Sale Sharks in the UK in the latter part of 2018 before returning for Super Rugby action with the Cell C Sharks this year and both the brothers were destined for the same type of agreement this year.
Gary added: “Jean-Luc and Daniel were absolute stars in the black and white jersey and always showed great professionalism and commitment in every match that they played. It is important to state that the amicable parting of ways with Robert had absolutely no bearing on this move, which was negotiated before a decision on Robert’s future was taken.
“We are sad to lose players of their calibre, but they go with our blessings. They will be sorely missed.”, added Teichmann.
Daniel and Jean-Luc stated: “We are proud KZN boys and it was a dream come true to represent The Sharks. We have made good memories with the team and lifelong friendships, therefore this decision to move abroad was not an easy one to make. This opportunity was one that we could not turn down and are keen to experience playing in a new environment and testing ourselves against the best players in the northern hemisphere.
“We will miss home and our Cell C Sharks family.”
The Sharks (Pty) Ltd Board of Directors, today announced that current Chief Operating Officer (COO), Eduard Coetzee will succeed Gary Teichmann as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Sharks, effective September 2019.
Eduard takes over the reigns from Gary Teichmann, who will bow out from his role after three years at the helm, having set plans in place and achieved several objectives during his tenure as CEO.
Mr. Stephen Saad, the Chairman of The Sharks Board of Directors, said, “Gary came in at a challenging time for Sharks Rugby and not only brought stability and leadership to the role, but also a strong business background at a time when sport is indeed big business.
“Although Gary will vacate his current position, he will remain actively involved at The Sharks where he will impart business and leadership advice and engaging with key stakeholders, with Eduard enjoying a sounding board offered by Gary. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary for his invaluable contribution to The Sharks and more specifically for the principled approach he took and the strong work ethic that accompanied everything he did.”
As a former player, Eduard Coetzee returned to The Sharks to take up the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2014 and in a short space of time has earned great respect as a leader and an astute businessman who brings a fresh and dynamic approach to the role. He believes strongly in the personal and skills development of people around him and he too practices this approach, which will see him receive his Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of KwaZulu-Natal later this year.
Prior to his doctorate studies, Ed did extensive research into rugby administration whilst studying for a Masters Degree from UCT GSB in Business Innovation. As part of his dissertation he focused on the development of South African rugby franchises into inclusive, sustainable and successful business models.
Coetzee, now into his sixth year in administration at The Sharks, has enjoyed an important and successful role as COO, which has given him the opportunity to work within all aspects of the business and which make for a seamless transition to CEO.
Added to his passion for The Sharks as a former player representing the Black and White, Coetzee’s various roles at The Sharks brings not only a deep understanding and passion for the brand, but his knowledge of the environment and its day-to-day operations makes him the perfect choice to lead The Sharks into 2020 and beyond.
Reacting to his appointment, Ed stated: “I am extremely humbled to be appointed as the next CEO of The Sharks. My strategy will be to build on the platform and stability created by Gary during his tenure. The basic business principles of corporate governance and financial controls are non-negotiable fundamentals in our business and will be amplified going forward.
“However, as a strategy I believe that people process culture, culture is my strategy and it needs to be worked on daily in order to be effective. Driving the Sharks culture will create unity from top to bottom. When the chips are down, absolute alignment is key…a strong culture will align individuals in a tough environment like professional sport.”
“Eduard’s strong working relationship with Gary over the last three years means his elevation to CEO will be a continuance of a vision to take The Sharks franchise from strength to strength as a sports team and as a business. We will all be there to support him every step of the way”, concluded Saad.
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