Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Lions Cricket: Thabiso Enoch Nkwe joins the Lions Pride

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Former first-class cricketer, Lions Cricket coach and Protea’s Assistant coach, Thabiso Enoch Nkwe will join the Lions Union Cricket family as a strategic cricket consultant for the months of March and April 2022.  

Having played 42 first class and 38 List A matches for Lions and Gauteng between 2002-2009, the 40 year old, Soweto born Nkwe then turned to coaching. In 2010 he was named as Head Coach of the Gauteng U19 team, later becoming the Head Coach of the Lions Cubs and leading them to the CSA Cubs Week title in 2013.

In the same year, he was named as Head Coach of the Gauteng Strikers and achieved tremendous success with the team, winning all three Cricket South Africa competitions between 2013-2016, resulting in him being named CSA Amateur Coach of the Year in 2015.

Following a stint as Assistant Coach to the Netherlands National Cricket Team, Nkwe returned as Head Coach to the Lions in 2018,  winning both the CSA T20 Challenge and the 4-Day Sunfoil Series in his first season. He was named Head Coach of Jozi Stars for the inaugural Mzansi Super League in 2018, and won that tournament as well.

In August 2019, Enoch was appointed as interim Team Director of the Protea’s, and in December of that same year, was named as Assistant Coach to the team.

Since stepping away from that role in 2021, Enoch took a cricketing hiatus and is now ready to resume with Lions Union Cricket and continue his journey in the South African cricketing system.

Enoch will certainly add value to the eco-system of Lions Cricket, players, administrators and so much more.

Lions Cricket CEO Jono Leaf-Wright elaborates on the long-time partnership and relationship between the coach and Lions Union Cricket;

“Enoch has proved himself time and time again and has always been an asset and welcomed member of our Pride. This has been several months in the making with myself, the team and Enoch expressing an interest in working together once more. It all comes down to high performance – we strive for setting up structures that will drive high performance, impacting men and women. Enoch will work with our framework coaches and our system in this space as well as the semi-professional Imperial Lions women’s team and the Imperial Lions mens team. We know that Enoch will add tremendous value in terms of what players we want to retain, who we want to attract and how best to position ourselves moving into the next season. So much of what Enoch already does, speaks to ‘The Lions Way’ and what we want to achieve as a brand. We are thrilled to welcome Enoch home!”

Jono goes on to say how Nkwe will be an additional layer on their already ever-impressive coaching line up;

“We already have a quality coaching family from Wandile Gwavu, Jimmy Kgamadi, JP Duminy, Piet Botha, Shaun Pretorius, Framework coaches, Strength and Conditioning Coaches, Physio’s, Sports Physicians and more. One must also be reminded that Lions has without doubt one of the world’s leading High Performance Analysts/Manager, Prasanna Agoram. Enoch’s appointment serves as an additional coaching and strategic layer which once again, I believe goes a long way to signalling our intent to be the best Union in the country – both on and off the field.”

Imperial Lions Mens Head Coach Wandile Gwavu welcomes Enoch to the Pride;

“Enoch is a dear friend to us Lions Union. He is vastly experienced, passionate and dedicated and will certainly add tremendous value to all layers of our Union. I am very excited to work with him again and have him a part of our environment.”

Shaun Pretorius, Head Coach for the Imperial Lions women, echo’s Gwavu;

“We look forward to the next two months with Enoch – the man whose high standards are aligned to ours at Lions Cricket; his passion unrivalled and sharing of cricketing knowledge appreciated. Welcome to you Enoch!”

Enoch concludes that he’s extremely excited to be returning to the Lions’ den;

“Lions Union have been successful over the last couple of seasons under the leadership of the CEO Jono Leaf-Wright, Head Coach Wandile Gwavu and the rest of the Lions staff. We all know that Lions Cricket has the best cricketing system in the country, so I am confident in my decision to be here and hope to help the system reach even greater heights.”

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