Sinalo can, Boland signs him on

2018-07-19 06:00
Sinalo Gobeni receives the Player of the Tournament award at the Boland Coca-Cola tournament from Robin Petersen, a former bowler of the Proteas.

Sinalo Gobeni receives the Player of the Tournament award at the Boland Coca-Cola tournament from Robin Petersen, a former bowler of the Proteas.

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Henry Williams, a former Protea cricketer and the current coach of Boland A, has a knack for identifying and nurture upcoming cricketers just as they start out with their cricket careers.

Sinalo Gobeni, from Nyanga, is the latest signing for the Boland team after Henry saw him play for Western Province B at the u.17 provincial competition in 2016.

Achille Cloete, currently a member of the SA u.19 team playing test cricket in England, is another player Henry has identified and coached, at only 16-years and 361 days old.

“I first saw him when he was playing for Western Province B in the u.17 while he was still a learner at the Western Cape Sport School in Kuils River.

I was very impressed with how he handles himself on the field and saw his potential,” said Henry Williams, head coach of the Boland team.

Sinalo is a left handed who bats at number five. He is also an offspin bowler and signed on the dotted line for the senior team.

“After Boland saw him play in the u.17 competition, we included him in the Boland u.18 Coke team and at the Boland Coca Cola tournament he was selected to represent the S.A School’s team.

“Last year he represented us at u.18 and played a few matches for the senior team as well as the Boland Academy team,” Henry said.

What interested Henry most was the tenacity showed by Sinalo and according to him, it was only a matter of time before his protege was included in the A team.

At the Coke tournament, he was awarded Player of the Tournament, which was handed over by Robin Petersen, a former Proteas cricketer.

Robin encouraged him to never loose sight of his dreams to make it in the Protea team and to keep chasing his dream by trying to get into the Boland A team first.

This, he achieved now, and his next goal is to play for the Cape Cobras before chasing his dream to represent South Africa.

“For a young player, Sinalo has a good temperament and he can only improve through the years. He is disciplined and there are not many flaws in his cricket skills or abilities. If I pick up any I’ll make sure that we work on the flaws together to improve his game.

“What interested me most was his talent and his fighting spirit on the pitch. Only after speaking to him I learned about his background and that he is doing everything possible to get an education. His main goal is to improve his family’s situation through his cricket by helping financially. This attitude showed me that he will go far in cricket because he is willing to fight for everything and anything in life. He set goals for himself and he won’t allow any obstacle to prevent him from achieving his goals. This attitude applies to his intention of helping his family financially as well and makes him a cricketer to be reckoned with in years to come,” Henry said.

Youth and youth development is very important to Henry and being the head coach at Boland he will work closely with the other coaches to make sure that youth structures are in place.

“It is important to capture the young cricketers when they are still rough diamonds. You can mould them to not only become a better player but to be the best in his position, whether as a batsman, bowler of fielder. I see the guidance that my coaches and I supply to the youth as non-negotiable as their are many Kagiso Rabada’s in the rural areas, that only need a little push in the right direction.”

Sinalo is currently at the Boland Academy in Paarl.

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