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Locker Room - Why is Having Foreign Coaches a Good Thing?
With Eddie Jones (Australia) coaching South Africa (rugby), Robbie Deans (NZ) coaching Australia (rugby) and Fabio Cappello (Italy) coaching England (soccer), is having foreign coaches really a good thing?
Tim: I disagree. If your team is losing, you need new coaches, or you keep your old coaches, and hope they well have new schemes in place. If you can't find local coaches that can withstand the pressure of coaching an international side, you will have to look abroad. Sure, the philosophy may change, the game as we know it may change, but if they end up winning, who cares if they are not local? It went the same for races, sex and anything else, so why not foreign coaches... unless if they can't speak in English.
Rocky: But what about the players, then? Surely there is no way to explore off shore talents in an international team.
Tim: Irene Van Dyk (NZ, netball), Clyde Rathbone (Australia, rugby), Kevin Pietersen (England, cricket), Steve Nash (Canada, basketball). They were all born in South Africa, but they ended up playing for different countries in their respective sports. Once they immigrated to other countries, and granted citizenship in their adopted countries, they can CHOOSE to play for the new country. Whether they will be selected or not is a different issue, but that should never be the main issue. It is rarer than buying imported players, and like Australian basketball, there is a restriction in place to limit the number of imported players, so if they can do that for other sports, we will be fine.
Rocky: What about the other way round then, say you're an American ice hockey player based in Canada then, some countries forbids you from playing because you are based off shore, and I think it is a good thing too because you have chosen to forgo the opportunity to be play for...
Tim: I'll have to stop you. First of all, I think this rule is stupid because if your talent pool is thin in your own country, if you can't support your own family, given the limited salary, or if you can't get game time anywhere within your own country's leagues, and you have to look elsewhere, you have to take the chance.
It is the same with coaches. In the case of Robbie Deans, it was because he got rejected by NZRU (New Zealand Rugby Union), and he still has the desire to coach in the national level, so it is a great time for Australia to utilize his expertise. Japan has John Kirwan, an ex-All Black, and he made Japanese rugby take off. The team may still be minnows in the eyes of the rest of the rugby world, but it have gained respect within the nation itself to be able to compete and at least qualify for the Rugby World Cup.
Rocky: OK, but just like the fears of 'spy-gate' affair, wouldn't it be a problem for Robbie Deans to be sharing information to the Australians to teach them how to beat New Zealand. They are bitter rivals though, how will that even benefit?
Tim: Since it was a trade, everything is fair game. Players that get traded always have valuable information about the former teams. You have to put past loyalties aside, so I don't think that it would be a bad thing for Australia, and New Zealand may have new information about Australia when Deans returns for New Zealand.
Rocky: It is still a bad idea though. Back to the case of England, Sven Goran Eriksson is a great manager at club level, but forms in clubs and league don't translate to international success, as you pointed out in previous arguments, as proven in Sven's stint as England coach, but how does having Fabio Capello help England?
Tim: Let's put the whole issue about him as an Italian to one side, and let's just see what Cappello brings. He is a defensive-minded coach, which is what England needs. Sure, if attractive football can be played, then he can adapt to it, too He is unpopular with fans and media, somewhat borderline Gordon Ramsey-like arrogance, but hey, England needs that kind of a coach. It is better to win ugly than to lose a spectacular goals-galore. And he doesn't care if you are a great player, and I think that is why I think he is better suited as a manager than the more outspoken Jose Mourinho. I'm not saying for him to rotate his players, but he will find his best team very quickly, then apply his own philosophy and make sure the lead comes first.
Rocky: As for Robbie...
Tim: It doesn't matter if there will be bad blood or if they are fierce rivals. I'll say it again: Players get traded all the time, in the case of foreign coaches, it is the same deal. They have to let personal allegiance aside. The bottom line is: if the team is doing well, keep the coach; if it doesn't work out, get rid of him. It would be exactly the same case with Eddie Jones coaching Australia. I'm looking forward to see how this plans out.