robdylan

Marcell keen to return to Sharks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 15 Feb 2016 at 12:28
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I was fortunate enough to grab a few precious minutes with Sharks loose forward Marcell Coetzee on Friday afternoon in Toulouse. After following the young man’s career for quite so many years (from his early days at the Academy to his success with both the Sharks and Boks) it really was a very fulfilling experience to finally meet him in the flesh. Quite a lot of flesh, actually – the oke is HUGE!

The subject of the discussion, of course, very quickly turned to Marcell’s upcoming move to Ulster. The decision he’s made, one he describes as “the hardest of his life”, is the result of a dilemma that is facing an increasing number of young players in South Africa. In an era of massive economic uncertainty and with the reality of an incredibly short lifespan as a professional rugby player, Coetzee feels he’s simply had no option but to take the option that offers him and his family the best shot at financial security. Fans of Mario Puzzo’s seminal work will understand that Coetzee was made “an offer he couldn’t refuse”.

Marcell strikes me as a hugely positive young man, bubbling with energy and enthusiasm (and not shy to burst into song when the mood takes him). You can tell that this decision has not been an easy one for him, but part of what makes him such a success in life is the ability to follow through on what he’s decided to do. While it is hugely sad for the team and for us fans that he won’t be available to the Sharks from next year, the one thing I do not doubt for a second is quite how valuable and influential he’s going to be for us in 2016. While there are enough options at loose forward to suggest that we won’t struggle to fill his jersey for the next three seasons, it is always sad when a true “local legend” leaves the Tank, particularly one who is only 24 years old.

“Look, I love the Sharks,” he tells me. “I’m Durban born and bred, a Porties boy through and through. The team will always be close to my heart and I would love the opportunity to return and see out my career in Durban, if I’m still needed at that stage.” Good news for us fans, then, that Marcell sees this Ulster move as a temporary thing, an opportunity to see the world, bank a decent wedge of cash and set himself up for the future before returning to team he loves, free of any major financial concerns.

He tells me that his recent spell in Japan with wife Chanelle has opened the couple’s eyes; they’re keen to spread their wings a little and see more of the world while they’re young, before returning home to start a family. We all know that fate has a way of interfering in even the best laid plans, but there’s little doubt that the Coetzee couple have been bitten by the travel bug and feel the need to satisfy their wanderlust before settling down; right now, they’d like to do the latter in Durban if that’s what the future has in store for them.

The time to bid Marcell farewell is luckily still a few months away – and those will be hard months, I’m sure, full of plenty of ups and downs for the player and the team. For now, let’s put this one to the back of our minds and rather focus on the positive contribution Marcell is still going to make to the Sharks this season, as stand-in captain while Pat Lambie recovers. If his heroics against Toulouse are anything to go by (33 tackles, according to Omar Mouneinme!) we have a lot still to look forward to.

Sterkte Cella…. jy bly ‘n masjien!



47 Comments

  • Clever man! Enjoy the journey, maar vir nou sien ons uit na die Superugby seisoen!

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.02.16 13:15:12 by Ice Reply
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  • Very sad to see him go but this opens the door for someone else to have a shot and hopefully Marcell grows as a player with Ulster and that benefits the Boks.

    Goodness knows that they need all of the help that they can get!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.02.16 13:18:07 by ChrisS Reply
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  • I don’t blame him at all. There us life after rugby to consider. I would personally not hesitate to do the same should a good opportunity arise. So why should it be any different for a talented sportsman.

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.02.16 13:19:01 by coolfusion Reply

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  • I’m considering watching NH rugby just to continue seeing him play after he leaves the Sharks. To me he’s right up there with the other humble ‘grafters’ like Stefan Terblanche and Jacques Botes who just got on with the job week in and week out.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.02.16 13:27:28 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 3) : as I said to him, what kind of hypocrite would I be if I judged him for making this decision?

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.02.16 13:27:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • For years I have been contemplating a move and I have finally decided that Ulster is my overseas team,bye bye Saracens,hello Sharks 2.0!Good luck Marcel!What a great guy,the way you wrote this piece makes me want to move to Ireland again and become his best friend…..( I said in a non-stalker voice) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.02.16 14:06:44 by BarendL Reply
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  • I hate it when our young guys leave for a foreign paycheck but at 20 I did the same thing (granted not in a rugby capacity) and can hardly begrudge him. I just hope he gets what he wants from his travels and he returns to Durban to see out a fair amount of his latter career.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.02.16 14:10:14 by Hulk Reply

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  • Does Marcell have a Springbok contract?

    It was still a huge travesty of justice that he wasn’t selected to go to the world cup. I wonder how much that influenced his decision?

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.02.16 14:12:00 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : Marcell is far too smart to be quoted in an interview about that….

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.02.16 14:23:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : and no, if he had a bok contract, he would not be able to sign with Ulster, hence he must not have one :)

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.02.16 14:24:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Rob can’t blame anyone for seeking financial stability for their family. Don’t think one of us will stay if give this type of opportunity!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.02.16 14:25:59 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : I’m sure he won’t make such a statement but on his behalf I’ll just state that he must have been very pissed off/disappointed. :smile:

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.02.16 14:38:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I have absolutely no idea what a Springbok contract entails. ;-)

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.02.16 14:38:44 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : so a bok contract could have kept him at the sharks?he has not been treated fairly.all things considered,he should have been at the world cup.

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.02.16 14:42:24 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • Must say it’s good news that he want to finish his career with the Sharks!!!!!! Shows that at least the Sharks are doing something right!!!!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.02.16 14:43:36 by JD Reply
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  • Don’t blame him at all, good decision IMO. All the best, you will be missed, and look forward to a return at some stage.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.02.16 14:47:08 by Shred Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : @Pokkel (Comment 8) : Let us dwell on this one for a minute. Here we have a player who was in arguably his best physical shape (pre-World Cup injury notwithstanding), who had become an indispensable part of the Sharks machine, while also cementing his place in the Bok squad (according to must independent observers). A player who started as an 8, played most of his professional career at 7, and then evolved his game to where has was considered one of the best 6′s in the business; in short, a player of peerless utility value. On top of that, a player with a near-inexhaustible work ethic and never-say-die attitude.

    So, absolutely everything that possibly could have counted in his favour was aligned, and he *still* couldn’t make the World Cup squad. And the next installment is still four years away, which is a lifetime in rugby, given the ever-present threat of career-ending injury, and the uncertainty that constantly envelops the South African rugby landscape.

    Nope, I honestly can’t see that his ommission by Asshat Meyer could have had any influence on his decision…

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.02.16 14:48:38 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 14) : at +\-R23 to the pound I don’t think even a Bok contract would have kept him in SA for very long!!!!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.02.16 14:49:05 by JD Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 12) : yes. Definitely.

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.02.16 14:52:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 14) : no hang on…. I didn’t say that at all!

    I’m sure Marcell carefully weighed up all the options and decided that the Ulster one was best, at least from a financial point of view.

    Bear in mind that Bok contracts will in all likelihood preclude guys from playing in Japan as well. It’s quite unlikely that Sharks+Boks would have paid him as much as what Ulster are prepared to.

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.02.16 14:54:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 18) : dont know how many euros the bok contracts slices off,and then the honour of playing for the boks?players do make decision thinking of life after rugby.things are as they are now,that we know.just hopes marcell impresses the new bok coach so that the sharks loss is not sa rugby’s loss.

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.02.16 14:58:29 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • Man of Steel!

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.02.16 15:09:32 by Ben Reply
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  • I’ve got nothing but respect for Marcell. World rugby definitely needs more people like him.

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.02.16 15:12:13 by Ben Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 21) : think he will get paid in pounds and yes let’s hope the new coach realise how good he is and still pick him!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.02.16 15:25:00 by JD Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 21) : so IF there was a Bok coach in place and IF that Bok coach had been able to talk to Marcell and explain where he fitted in and what his chances were of being a test regular over the next 3 years, I’m sure the decision would have been harder.

    I’m sure Marcell would have loved to have that conversation, but because of the chaos surrounding the Bok coaching appointment, there’s nobody for him to have the discussion with.

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.02.16 15:25:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • I would love to have him back in 3 years from now.

    I predicted this move … not to Ulster, but to Europe. Not on this site though… basically only in my head. So I don’t think it counts.

    First time I went overseas I was also bitten by the travel bug. Still try to get away to see a new country, as much as I can.

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.02.16 15:35:47 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : or the other side of the coin is he’s not in the plans and could have confirmed his decision to go!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.02.16 15:37:03 by JD Reply
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  • Marcell is just an absolute machine! I look forward to this season. I will miss him next season. And I will always love him for the fact that he said, “NO” to the Stormers…

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.02.16 15:37:48 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 26) : don’t think he will be back in 3 years it will be more like 6 as he’s then 30.

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.02.16 15:38:46 by JD Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 28) : that’s the only good thing about it. Rather Ulster/Europe than Stormers/Bulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :twisted:

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.02.16 15:40:09 by JD Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 28) : I reckon he deserves to be sainted for that Stormers snub…

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.02.16 15:40:38 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 28) : @Culling Song (Comment 31) : almost a good as the one that Big Thomas gave them!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.02.16 15:46:43 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) :

    From a purely financial point, Marcell’s timing for this move, probably couldn’t be any better.

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.02.16 15:46:45 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 33) : think the current exchange rate had a huge amount to do with his decision to go now rather than wait till the end of his contract.

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.02.16 15:49:34 by JD Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 31) : Absolutely…

  • Comment 35, posted at 15.02.16 15:54:20 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Inept coaching has far reaching and sometimes long lasting repercussions.

  • Comment 36, posted at 15.02.16 21:40:09 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Well I think playing in Europe will only add to what is already an immense player. I will miss him I really do hope he makes his way back.

  • Comment 37, posted at 16.02.16 06:02:29 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Am I the only one who missed the news on Lambie’s injury???? What is the extent? How long is he out for?

  • Comment 38, posted at 16.02.16 08:03:54 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 38) :

    Don’t know yet. AC joint separation on the right shoulder. Looks like 6 to 8 weeks at least, but can be up to 12.

  • Comment 39, posted at 16.02.16 08:13:34 by Letgo Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 38) : You didn’t miss it. There hasn’t been an official announcement yet.

  • Comment 40, posted at 16.02.16 08:16:00 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 40) : It’s absolutely pathetic.

  • Comment 41, posted at 16.02.16 08:20:46 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 38) : @Letgo (Comment 39) : @coolfusion (Comment 40) : nobody knows or those who know does not want to tell!!!!!!!!! Must agree think it’s very poor as I’m sure all Sharks fans will want to know.

  • Comment 42, posted at 16.02.16 09:30:44 by JD Reply
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  • It would be great to be in a position ,in three years time when he wants to come back,to not need him.
    If the twins at 20 are any kind of indication as to what is out there,this could be a reality.
    The guy I really rate is Whitely,after his season last year he must have attracted so many offers,but he remains faithful to the guys who gave him his break.

  • Comment 43, posted at 16.02.16 09:44:08 by The hound Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 40) : @GreatSharksays (Comment 41) : @JD (Comment 42) : Yeah it really doesnt come across very well from and open communications point of view. On the other hand it makes me wonder if the injury is not a lot worse (season / career ending) than we think and they want to explore all avenues before making any comment.

  • Comment 44, posted at 16.02.16 09:44:18 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 44) : must say I do have sympathy with the medical staff because if they say they don’t know or make a wrong prediction people will say they’re poor and don’t know what they’re doing if they don’t make any statement people (like us) also get irritated and want to know why they don’t release any info. Basically they just can’t win!!!!

  • Comment 45, posted at 16.02.16 10:01:36 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 45) : I disagree with you decent medical people are judged first of all on the speed and accuracy of their diagnostic skills.I hope to hell that they have accurately diagnosed his injury by now.
    This stems back to last year when Pat injured his neck,I stand corrected but I think it was cracked veterbra,he was mis diagnosed, cleared to play and played the next week,seriously re injuring himself.

  • Comment 46, posted at 16.02.16 10:23:50 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 46) : maybe they did but the rehab time will take time to determine as for last year that was very poor and really hope something like that does not happen again!!!!

  • Comment 47, posted at 16.02.16 20:03:39 by JD Reply
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