Back on ‘home’ turf, former Proteas spinner Robin Peterson is bringing a new dynamic to the Warriors’ dressing room. He shares his view …
Although I have played all around the world and lived in Cape Town for a while, I have always regarded myself as a PE boy. Having grown up in Port Elizabeth and come through the system representing all the Eastern Province youth teams, the Eastern Province men’s team and the Warriors franchise,
it is a great privilege to coach my home team.
I have spent the past couple of seasons with the South Africa U19 team as a technical consultant. I also coached the Barbados Tridents and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League and the Northern Warriors in the T10 League. So I haven’t taken the conventional route to coaching a franchise, but I believe this is the way the modern game is heading.
Players are gaining information as they travel all around the world and mix with fellow professionals, thereby raising their skill level. I believe the same applies to coaching.
Equally, I feel my knowledge acquired only as a player is not sufficient to sustain me if I want to fully maximise the output of my players. I am a firm believer in doing the hard yards myself and the players will follow suit.
I am therefore in the middle of acquiring a master’s in sports directorship from Manchester Metropolitan University. For me, it’s about how you manage people, so the degree goes hand in hand with what I am doing now. You need to understand people to know what’s going on in their head before you can find out what they deliver.
Sometimes it’s not cricket that makes a cricketer. It’s a lot of other things – expectation, how do I train, is fitness really that important? These types of questions might not have anything to do with seeing numbers on the board, but they lead to that point of taking wickets and scoring runs.
Hopefully I can bring that knowledge to the Warriors change room because I want to guide and develop this team. There is the right mix of youth, experience and talent to do something special as a collective and push for silverware.
There are a lot of talented youngsters at the Warriors, like Matthew Breetzke, Sinethemba Qeshile and Lutho Sipamla, plus many more, but they need time. They are good players but they’ve still got a lot to learn and that’s where experience plays a big role. I believe strongly in the mentorship role.
I was part of a successful Cape Cobras team that dominated all forms of domestic cricket for a period. The core of that side was very experienced. We had players like the two Justins (Kemp and Ontong), myself, Rory Kleinveldt, Vernon Philander, JP Duminy, Johann Louw, Charl Langeveldt … all guys who played a lot of first-class cricket and could guide the young players like Dane Piedt, Yaseen Vallie and the others coming through.
I believe the Warriors have a similar set-up, particularly in the batting department with the likes of Vallie, Jon-Jon Smuts, Rudi Second and Eddie Moore. There are many young players who can learn from them in helping the Warriors become a really strong franchise again.
I’m excited about getting on with the job at the Warriors. When I was a player I loved coming to work every day at St George’s Park. Now as a coach, I am feeling that similar energy again and am looking forward to some exciting times with the team.
Robin Peterson played 15 Tests, 79 ODIs and 21 T20Is before retiring from international cricket in 2014. He took 137 wickets across all formats, including 5-33 in the second innings of the Test against Bangladesh in 2008. He has played for clubs including Barbados Tridents, Mumbai Indians, Derbyshire and Surrey.