Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa
Northerns coach Geoffrey Toyana is a man all too familiar with success and he will be aiming to add another feather to his cap at the 2020 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Awards next month.
The 46-year-old is a nominee for the PitchVision Provincial Coach of the Year prize where he is up against Richard das Neves of Easterns and Northern Cape mentor JP Triegaardt.
The gala event to honour South Africa’s top performing cricketers over the past year will take place on Saturday, July 4 2020, in a virtual ceremony because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
Toyana only took charge of Northerns at the start of the 2019/20 campaign, leading them to second-place finishes in their one-day and first-class pools when the corona virus struck.
In his debut competition at the helm, the Centurion-based outfit finished third in their Provincial T20 Cup campaign at the start of the term.
“I had a really enjoyable time, I mean there’s just so much of talent at Northerns. I enjoyed myself thoroughly,” he reflected.
Before this season, he was on the books of Gauteng in a High-Performance role for the past few years having been the head coach of the franchise Imperial Lions prior – winning four trophies in the process.
He has also been assistant coach at Paarl Rocks, who he helped win the Mzansi Super League (MSL) last year.
And next season he will move on from Northerns to work as assistant coach at the Momentum Multiply Titans under Mandla Mashimbyi, something he has done for the past six months after Mark Boucher moved on to join the Proteas.
“When I came back from MSL this past campaign I went to the Titans as assistant coach,” he explained. “I was still involved with Northerns and that’s something I still wanted because it’s an area of the game I still have a lot of passion for.
“So that experience from both sides and my previous work at franchise level and then being back in semi-pro, I had boys coming through with those questions of how we can play franchise cricket as well. Being there in that capacity of mentor and coach, being able to share experience was fantastic for me.”
Looking ahead to the awards, Toyana says he was just proud to make the shortlist.
“It’s good recognition for me and I’m humbled to be nominated,” he adds. “I’ve won the franchise award twice, so this is now a chance to complete the set. I’m really happy to be recognised for the efforts I’ve put in.”