Geoffrey Toyana has been appointed as the new head coach of the eta Northerns Senior Provincial side.
Toyana, who boasts cricket pedigree as a player and coach, takes over from JP Triegaardt, who made his return to Northern Cape Cricket earlier this month.
The former Transvaal and Easterns man made 71 List A and 84 first-class appearances during his career as a left-handed batsman. His performances at senior level earned him his franchise debut in 2004/5, where he went on to feature in 20 four-day games and record six half-centuries over a three-year period for the Titans. He then returned to Easterns towards the back end of his playing career.
Following his retirement from professional cricket in 2008, Toyana was appointed Easterns' Head Coach. Not long after, he joined the bizhub Highveld Lions as Assistant Head Coach in the summer of 2011/12, before becoming the first black African to serve as a franchise Head Coach the following season.
Toyana flourished in his first year at the helm, leading the Lions to the T20 title, as well as joint-holders of the One-Day Cup and finished second in the four-day competition. His six-year tenure brought with it four titles and earned him stints with the SA U/19s and SA Emerging teams. His most recent outing came as Assistant Head Coach of the Paarl Rocks in the inaugural Mzansi Super League last December.
With a wealth of experience, the 45-year-old is an important acquisition as the senior side aim to build on last season’s successes, which saw them finish joint-winners with Eastern Province in the CSA 3-Day Provincial Cup and runners up in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge.
“To be back at SuperSport Park, where I enjoyed a five-year career with the Titans, is a huge honour for me," expressed Toyana.
“Having spent last year behind a desk, I am looking forward to the prospect of coaching again and being out on the park, so it’s great opportunity to do something I’m passionate about.”
“Looking at the side, it is a young squad with some exciting talent and I can’t wait to hit the ground running as we build on last season’s triumphs. One of the main keys to success is consistency, and it’s important to keep on improving and not regress."
“The ultimate goal is to produce players for the Titans and, having previously been involved with franchise as a player, I know the culture and understand what is required in order to compete at that level.”
Toyana will take charge of the squad from Monday, 15 July, and Cricket Operations Manager Johan Muller is looking forward to welcoming him to the set-up.
“We are fortunate to have acquired a coach with such a high level of the experience, success and hard work - his record speaks for itself. We signed talented prospects two years ago and I believe Geoff is the ideal coach to ensure that those players are ready to perform at franchise level,” commented Muller.
eta Northerns Senior Provincial squad 2019/20: Rubin Hermann, Gionne Koopman, Kyle Simmonds, Gregory Mahlokwana, Victor Mahlangu, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Luvuyo Nkese, Gideon Peters, Jiveshen Pillay, Diego Rosier, Ruben Trupelmann