FNB WSU's inspirational 2019 captain Phumlani Blaauw will fulfill a coaching role for the East London side during the tenth season of the FNB Varsity Shield.
FNB WSU had a disappointing season in 2019 compared to their usual standards. The mighty All Blacks of 2018 won five of their six fixtures and eventually made it to the final, and were only defeated twice, both times by the eventual winners, FNB UWC.
Last year was a different story though as the team won only three of their six fixtures and bowed out of title contention in the semifinals after a loss to FNB CPUT.
However, former captain Phumlani Blaauw believes FNB WSU will make amends in 2020.
"Preseason has been good and the boys have been working hard in preparing for the upcoming season," said the burly prop.
"First thing first is to do right by our supporters. We have to win all our home games and build from there going into the playoffs."
Blaauw isn't allowed to play for the All Blacks this year due to FNB Varsity Shield's strict age policy, where players can no longer compete in the tournament after they reach 25 years old. But Blaauw has more to add to his team and was appointed as assistant forwards coach.
"I believe the head coach (Sipho Metula) and management believe I still have a role to play in the team and believe it could be advantageous seeing that I knew situations on the field and now I will be seeing it from the outside, so I could be of help."
"I am working hand in hand with Lubabalo Lento helping with the forwards," explained Blaauw.
As delighted as he is to be in the coaching box, Blaauw did concede he will miss being out on the field.
"I am going to miss everything about the field, the adrenaline rush when we play our home games, of course our bus trips to the stadium singing our war cries."
The 10th season of the FNB Varsity Shield kicks off on Friday, 14 February, when FNB WSU will take on FNB CPUT in Cape Town.