Former Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana has expressed his disappointment after Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani said earlier this week that he should’ve been appointed head coach of the Proteas in 2017, instead of Ottis Gibson.
On Thursday evening Nenzani admitted on Robert Marawa’s radio programme that CSA ‘missed an opportunity’ by not appointing Toyana as Russell Domingo’s successor.
Having achieved large-scale success with the Lions at that time, Toyana was favoured to take over as the first-ever black coach of the Proteas, but his application for the post was unsuccessful as CSA opted for Gibson, who left his role as England’s bowling coach.
In an interview with Rapport, Toyana said he was shocked when he heard Nenzani’s revelations from Thursday.
‘It made me feel cold if I have to be honest – but that’s life,’ said Toyana, who struggled to get permanent role as coach in franchise cricket.
‘I was favourite for the job as Proteas head coach and five, six months later I was unemployed. My time with the Lions was done after six years there.
‘My next step was the Proteas position or just to move a step forward but I didn’t get the post as Nenzani said.
‘It was five months of where I just stayed at home and went for interviews – I went for interviews with the Knights and Warriors for the role as head coach but I didn’t get it.
‘I felt as if no one wanted me and I didn’t know what I did wrong. I am a hard-working coach and I am passionate about what I do,’ added Toyana.
In July last year the 46-year-old was appointed head coach of the Northerns senior provincial side and is currently an assistant coach at the Titans in Pretoria – a role he enjoys a lot.
‘I also played for the Titans and felt better when I was appointed as an assistant coach after Mark Boucher went to the Proteas. It felt as if someone wanted me again,’ Toyana said.
He also gave huge praise to CSA’s acting CEO Jacques Faul, who according to Toyana, gave him heaps of support after offering him the role at Northerns.
‘I am especially thankful to Faul, who always supported me, who always believed in me.’