Despite numerous false starts, the Sharks today finally confirmed that John Plumtree has accepted a three-year extensions to his coaching contract and will continue to subject Sharks fans to his particular brand of rugby until the end of the 2013 season.
This development comes hot on the heels of whispered talk that a number of high-profile players have recently ruled out a move to Durban as a result of a lack of “transparency” in the coaching structures. The Sharks, it would seem, like to keep their cards pretty close to their chests when it comes to who is responsible for what within the coaching setup. While backline players in particular might be keen to head to Pretoria to work with Pieter Rossouw, or to Cape Town to be guided by Alister Coetzee, the continual merry-go-round of assistants, advisers and consultants that seems to follow Plumtree around in Durban doesn’t seem too attractive a prospect to would-be transfer targets.
Grant Bashford and Hugh Reece-Edwards, it would appear, simply aren’t enough of a drawcard to convince a player like Jean de Villiers to cast in his lot with the Sharks.
More concerning, though, is Plumtree’s well-established reluctance to place any faith whatsoever in the young players delivered to him through the Academy system. In a world where established players are not exactly flocking to your brand, you’d think that cutting your losses and developing youth would be the next best option. In the words that a young player used when I spoke to him earlier, though “it’s hard to keep knocking on the door when the Sharks keep building new and unnecessary doors all the time”.
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that the Sharks will now manage to build some decent continuity over the next three years and that Plumtree manages to once again deliver the sort of rugby that brought the 2008 Currie Cup to Durban, rather than the dross crap that saw us crash out of every competition we’ve played in since at an embarrassingly early stage.Tweet