- Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter hopes his charges can draw inspiration from how his favourite football club, Liverpool, is playing currently.
- Walter is a Liverpool supporter and couldn’t stop grinning when asked about his footballing allegiances on Monday.
- Walter hopes the lessons he learned in New Zealand will come in handy for the Proteas.
Liverpool-loving Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter hopes his charges will be able to draw parallels with how his favourite football club is currently navigating what some would call a small stagnation spell.
Liverpool, who last season were on the cusp of winning an unprecedented quadruple of the league title, FA Cup, Champions League, and League Cup, only ended up with the FA Cup and League Cup.
They finished second behind Manchester City in the league, lost the Champions League final 1-0 to Real Madrid, and could only boast winning both domestic cups in finals against Chelsea in the end.
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Liverpool remains at the top of footballing conversations after wiping the floor with Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday, and Walter couldn’t help but let off a grin when asked about the team he supports.
“I support the side that won 7-0,” Walter chirped with a smile.
He was also quick to find a football reference that will come in handy for him when he gets down to business against the West Indies in the three-match ODI series that starts next week.
“The reality is that you have to trust in the process because it was just last season when a side like Liverpool was very successful and pushing to win the quadruple, which didn’t happen.
“They were highly successful though, but they went through what was a ropey start, but they showed what they were capable of on Sunday.
“From an SA cricket perspective, I’m buoyed by the quality of cricketers I see around, and the SA20 bears testament to that.
“The best analogy I can use is that SA has always had a good cricket side and we want to turn it into a great cricket team.
“The journey from good to great is short, but it’s the hardest part of the journey, which is where we’re stuck right now.”
Walter joins the Proteas after stints with the Otago Volts and the Central District Stags in New Zealand between 2016 and earlier this year.
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Before that, he was at the Titans as a head coach, with his initial trade being that of a strength and conditioning coach, a job he did with distinction with the Titans and the Proteas between 2001 and 2013.
Walter said his trip to New Zealand was a necessary one from an educational perspective as it came with learnings he wouldn’t have got if he stayed in South Africa.
“The short summary of the trip was that I left a very successful Titans side and joined a team that came last in every format for two years,” Walter said.
“If you want to learn about where your values are as a coach, you need to lose a lot, which I did.
“There was a genuine love for the art of coaching, which is to make people maximise their potential, which I don’t see as different here in the SA team.
“It’s having a grasp of my roles and values, from which I try to achieve that with every team that I coach, including the Proteas.”