That’s right, guys. There’s a lot of noise right now about Frans Steyn trying to pull every trick in the book to get out of his Sharks contract early. Apparently some or other French club is prepared to throw a bazillion Euros his way and all he wants is to get the hell out of Durban as fast as he can. Of course, it’s all rumour and conjecture at this point but if it’s true, I say let him go.
Steyn is a youngster of undoubted talent and potential – that much is true. What is also, unavoidably, true is that one can count his truly outstanding Sharks performances over three seasons on the fingers of one hand. The Afrikaners have a saying – “vroeg ryp, vroeg vrot” which basically translates to “ripe too soon, rotten soon after” and I feel this applies to Steyn in buckets. He has tasted too much success too early and doesn’t honestly believe that he has anything more to learn. Being part of a World Cup winning team at the age of 19 has got to have an effect on any player and there appears to be a definite sense of ennui in Steyn’s play ever since reaching that great height in 2007.
He has been, on average, poor in 2008, at times touching on woeful, as he did in his ill-fated outing at flyhalf for the Barbarians earlier this month. He looks a player devoid of ideas, devoid of coaching and simply coasting based on past achievements and a natural ability that will tempt most selectors to close their eyes and pick him, regardless of current form. He has been exposed as far too slow in everything that he does to be considered a flyhalf option, yet he steadfastly insists that he only wants to play in that position.
In short, Frans Steyn in 2009 is going to be a nightmare, as he needs to essentially go back to square one to rebuild what looked like a very promising career a year ago. He has risen too far, too fast and faces a painful fall back to earth, which will come next season, mark my words. I have a fair amount of faith in John Plumtree’s ability to rebuild Steyn and turn him into something useful, but without the player’s buy-in, it will all come to naught. Problem is Steyn has an absolutely unshakable confidence in his own abilities and it’s doubtful that he himself believes that he needs any help or guidance whatsoever. If this is indeed the case, then not a bloody thing that Plumtree, Chris Boyd, Rudi Straueli or anybody else says is going to make a bugger of difference to him in the near term because he simply won’t listen to it.
So my advice to the Sharks would be to flog him as soon as possible, while his market value still reflects his 2007 exploits. Make a quick profit and use it to develop other options, because if he keeps going the way he is, Frans Steyn ain’t going to worth a hell of a lot to anyone by the time 2010 rolls around.Tweet