Dobson 'graduates' from VC
John Dobson, who has coached FNB UCT since the advent of the Varsity Cup in 2008, has been appointed as the new Western Province Vodacom Cup and Under-21 coach.
The 42-year-old is one of South Africa’s most promising coaches, having cut his teeth in the Varsity Cup – guiding the cash-strapped Ikeys to two finals in three years – and then landing a job with top Italian outfit, Rugby Roma, last year.
Dobson has been helping out at WP since the 2010 Varsity Cup Final – where his team went down to the all-conquering Maties – but he will now be lost to the Varsity Cup, for now at least, because of his Vodacom Cup commitments.
(Dobson’s ‘helping out’ with Province this season, saw him co-coach the WP Under-21 team – with Rassie Erasmus – to the SA U21 title; beating the Blue Bulls in the final in October.)
Of course, Dobson is not the only Varsity Cup coach to have ‘graduated’ onto bigger and better things.
His former UCT coaching mate, Robbie Fleck, is the backline coach at WP (and arguably the country’s foremost backline brain), whilst Province’s highly-rated forwards coach, Matthew Proudfoot (who has added plenty of bite to the WP pack), first made a name for himself as Pukke coach in the 2008 Varsity Cup.
Former Tuks boss Freddie Grobler is a top-notch Sevens coach, and has coached various SA Students Sevens teams, whilst current UJ mentor Hugo van As has been involved at Vodacom Cup level at the Lions in the past.
Maties coach Chean Roux – the most successful coach in the Varsity Cup – coached the SA Students in 2009 and, like Dobson and co., also looks set to graduate to a provincial job sooner rather than later (should he want to).
* Dobson will be assisted by Labieb Levy (from SK Walmers) and Dawie Snyman (from Paul Roos) at WP next year.