New Proteas boss Nkwe draws inspiration from Jake White

Enoch Nkwe (AFP)
Enoch Nkwe (AFP)

Cape Town - New interim team director for the Proteas, Enoch Nkwe, says he draws inspiration from former Springbok coach Jake White as he becomes the youngest ever man to take charge of the national cricket side. 

The 36-year-old Nkwe will lead the Proteas on their tour to India for three T20Is in September and three Tests in October, but with no international head coach experience under his belt, it is a massive ask for the former Lions head coach. 

Speaking in Johannesburg on Thursday, though, Nkwe said he was feeling up to the task and he drew on the successes of a couple of other young coaches who had succeeded in the world of international sport. 

One if those is Jake White, who was 40 when he took charge of the Boks in 2004 before guiding them to World Cup glory in 2007. 

"There are many coaches who coached at a young age and have been successful," Nkwe said.

"If you just look at Jake White and what he did when he took over the Springboks on the back of a poor 2003 World Cup to winning in 2007."

Another man who Nkwe draws inspiration from is current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who started coaching Barcelona when he was just 37 years old. 

"He's on another level, but there are a lot of things you can always learn from different sporting codes," Nkwe said.

"I've been in a position where I have followed his work over the last couple of years and I just enjoy how he backs his philosophy and his values as a person and a coach and tries to set new boundaries and break records.

"When I see opportunities like this it really excites me.

"I understand that it's going to be a really big challenge, but I strongly believe that we can make an immediate impact. If it doesn't happen, it's not going to be the end of the world. There is a bigger picture.

"Just watching his (Guardiola's) growth over the years and having started coaching one of the biggest clubs in the world at the age of 37, it really did motivate me then that if he can do it, it is possible."

Nkwe added that he would be applying for the full-time team director post as soon as it was advertised.

"I'll definitely throw my name in the hat," he said. 

"There will obviously be a process to follow and I will apply for that, but hopefully I get the opportunity to lead the country on a full-time basis."

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