Watch out John Mitchell, you might lose your job as Bulls coach for supporting the All Blacks!
Two coaches from Griqualand West's school system, Deon Carney (Noord-Kaap) and Joe Molale (Adamantia), was sacked as coaches of one of the u18-sides that will play in the Coca-Cola Craven Week in Paarl later this year for being All Black supporters. By this argument Bulls coach, John Mitchell, might also be in the firing line. Mitchell is a former All Black and also coached the All Blacks before moving to South Africa.
Carney and Molale would've coached the union's Academy-side at the Craven Week in Paarl. Carney was bemused after being called to a meeting with Griquas president, Jannie Louw, on Saturday where he was informed that following a Whatsapp message from Saru he will now longer be coaching the Academy-side. "My first thought was that it was a joke, but it wasn't. We weren't given any indication before the dismissal on what the meeting was about. So we had no time to prepare a defence," said Carney.
The chairman of Griqualand West Schools Rugby, Danie Slabbert, and Griquas CEO, Arne van Rooyen, was also present at the meeting where Carney and Molale was sacked.
Carney was appointed coach of the team at the end of February. He was busy as selector at the Kimberley Regional trials which was held on Friday and Saturday. After being sacked it also meant that him and Molale was effectively not on the selection panel anymore as well. According to reports from the Diamond Fields Advertiser (DFA) - Louw emphasised that the duo was not officially appointed to the team. Carney says that he has proof in an e-mail that he was appointed.
"Our country needs more patriots and Griquas have decided to offer Saru our unwavering support. Everyone has the right to choose who they support, but that doesn't entitle anyone top misuse our structures for their personal benefit," Louw reportedly told the DFA.
Carney coached Griquas to their first unbeaten Craven Week since 2001 during last year's edition of the prestigious tournament. He represented the union as a player at the Grant Khomo Week (2007) as well as the Craven Week (2008 and 2009) during his schooling at Northern Cape High. He captained the union at the Grant Khomo Week of 2007.
Carney who also represented the senior Griqua-team is still a avid supporter who attends matches at Tafel Lager Park. He also still plays club rugby for Kimberley. He has only one profile picture dating back to 1 June 2012 of him in an All Black-jersey. "It was from while I was playing club rugby in New Zealand. I do support the All Blacks as I like the type of rugby they are playing. I also was a big supporter of the Blue Bulls when I was still as school and also at sometime the Sharks for the way they played the game. I also support the Springboks. It was not a problem when I coached the Craven Week-side last year," said Carney.
He lived in New Zealand for three years, while playing club rugby in the Land of the Long White Cloud. He made the extended group of the Wellington Lions before returing to South Africa to play for University of KwaZulu-Natal's Impis in the Varsity Shield competition.
"We hope they come to their senses and rehabilitated so we can give them another opportunity to be part of Griquas' school structures," Louw told the DFA.
Carney has seeked legal advice and also requested that the Griqualand West Rugby Union sent him the reason for his sacking on formal communication as he wishes to take the matter further. "I take this matter personally. If the reason was because I'm not rated as a coach I would've taken it on the chin, but it has nothing to do with my coaching ability," said Carney.