The minutes of the University of Pretoria cricket club AGM after the 2015/16 season will show that they lost their inspirational coach Pierre de Bruyn after six trophy-filled years, but the former Titans and Dolphins all-rounder’s departure for Leicestershire is a blow for South African cricket as a whole.
De Bruyn confirmed on Wednesday that he will be taking up a post as skills coach and second XI head coach with English county Leicestershire in the new year, therefore ending an association with the Tuks cricket team that saw them win five successive Northerns Premier League titles, three National Club Championships, three University Sports South Africa crowns, the inaugural Varsity Cup for cricket and, just last weekend, they defended their title in the Red Bull Campus Cricket Finals, the world cup of student cricket.
“I cannot thank the University of Pretoria more for the foundation they have given me, they’ve played a massive role in my life in terms of my growth end education. They gave me all the tools I needed for a very successful six years, and they have moulded the person I am.
“But as a young coach, I want to go to the next level, my long-term aim is to be an international coach, and a great opportunity has come my way at Leicestershire. It’s a full-time, permanent position, so I’m moving the whole family. It’s a chance to get into the very powerful structure of county cricket and try and help Leicestershire get back on track. There’s been a lot of change there and I hope I have a massive role to play,” De Bruyn told The Citizen on Wednesday.
One of South Africa’s most promising coaches and a father of two daughters, De Bruyn will work under elite performance director Andrew McDonald, the former Australia, Delhi Daredevils, Bangalore Royal Challengers and Leicestershire all-rounder, and another South African expat, Nic Pothas, is the new academy director.
“It’s a new page for me and if you look at the IPL, or the likes of Graham Ford at Surrey, Dave Nosworthy at Somerset and all the Aussies, having coaches from all over the world is where cricket has gone. I think I’ve shown I can produce and develop players, and I hope to bring discipline and structure to my work at Leicestershire. After six years of great memories, I just want to make sure I continue changing young people’s lives because that’s what I’m passionate about,” De Bruyn said.
Some of the most talented young South African cricketers – Theunis de Bruyn, Aiden Markram and Graeme van Buuren – have passed through his hands at Tuks.