New Easterns head coach Geoffrey Toyana is determined to gain promotion to Division 1 of South African domestic cricket.
It will be Toyana’s second stint with the Benoni-based union, having become head coach there in 2008 shortly after retiring as a player.
“I’ve achieved everything in South African cricket, and I’ve won every trophy,” Toyana told Sport24.
“I’ve helped produce national team players, so my motivation now is to take a team from the second division into the first division.
“It would be so fitting if I could achieve that with Easterns. It will be tough, though, because Division 2 is competitive.
“There’s a first division team [Free State Knights] coming down to join us, so it won’t be an easy job, especially if you looked at how hard the KwaZulu-Natal Tuskers [who have been promoted to Division 1] and Northern Cape Heat worked.
“The aim is to get close to Northern Cape and compete with the Knights. The teams I’ve coached have been competitive and we’ll play tough cricket.”
READ: Tuskers charge into Division 1, Free State fall out
Toyana said he didn’t hesitate to apply for the Easterns job when he saw it advertised.
“Instead, my mind raced back to the time when the Lions discarded me [as a player] after the successful 2000 SuperSport Series final against Border.
“Me, Zander de Bruyn, and the late Walter Masemola didn’t get contracts, with Walter going to England before his Easterns stint, but he passed away.
“Those emotions took me back to that time and the fact that Easterns gave me an opportunity and hope. It’s also where I started coaching, that’s where I started without any experience.
“To come back after having travelled to the Lions and the Titans with success, the obvious destination was back with Easterns.”
Toyana won four trophies in six seasons as Lions head coach and was the favourite to replace Russell Domingo as Proteas head coach in 2017. However, CSA opted for West Indian Ottis Gibson instead and Toyana soon found himself without a job.
In 2019, the Titans threw Toyana a coaching lifeline, and he served as an assistant coach under Mandla Mashimbyi.