AUDIO: Hawies reveals his Cheetahs recipe
LISTEN as newly appointed Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie explains how he will meet the challenges in Bloemfontein head on.
Fourie, who this past week was unveiled as the Cheetahs’ coach for the next four years, said he always wanted to return to Bloemfontein – having left in 2014.
Fourie will join the Free State Cheetahs during Currie Cup as an ‘observer’, but will not be directly involved with coaching.
He will take over for the start of the Pro14 season in September.
Having started his coaching career with the Ceres club in Boland in 2001, he also coached Boland (2002 to 2005), Stormers (backline coach, 2006), Boland again (2007), and the Free State (backline coach, 2007 to 2013) and Cheetahs (backline coach – 2007 to 2014). He coached Griquas for two years, before moving to Stellenbosch.
He was responsible for the resurgence of Stellenbosch, guiding the side to four successive Varsity Cup finals and back-to-back-titles.
“I am ready for the challenge to be head coach,” he said of the 2019-20 Pro14 season.
“I am a lot more confident.
“I know the limitations [I will face] at the Cheetahs very well.”
He said the biggest challenge is always to have continuity in your team.
“If you have a group of senior players together for a long enough period you can be successful,” he said, adding: “If you lose a lot of players, as happened here [at the Cheetahs] the last two years, you start rebuilding.
“That process has been ongoing for the past year, so I can continue with a process started by a good coach.
“That is the biggest challenge at the Cheetahs.
“When your players become good enough to cope in a competition like the Pro14, you will start losing them.”
Fourie said the Pro14 is his priority, because that is where the money is.
“The Pro14 is where your players and your brand get exposure.
“The Currie Cup is the traditional competition, so we will never neglect that.
“However, your bread and butter are in the Pro14 and the more successful you are in that, the more financially stable we will be.
“That is why our focus is on the Pro14.”
* Meanwhile Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster confirmed they are “in talks” with veteran Springbok Ruan Pienaar to return to Bloemfontein.
“There are conversations with Ruan, but nothing is final yet,” he said.
“We hope to have an answer in the next fortnight.”
While the 88-Test Bok veteran is at the twilight of his career, his experience will be a boost to the squad – who are losing Shaun Venter to the Ospreys in Wales.
There have also been reports that Frans Steyn, recalled to the Boks this week, is keen to relocate to Bloemfontein once his contract with French club Montpellier concludes.
The 31-year-old has been plying his trade in France since 2016, having established himself as an integral member of the Montpellier side over the past few seasons.
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