Hans Coetzee, great rugby man, is back at Hoërskool Monument and running the rugby. He is just one of recent Monnas movements.
Coetzee started teaching at Monnas in 1979 and for 18 years ran the 1st XV, one of the very top school sides in South Africa. Then surprisingly, he left Monnas for the Golden Lions. Now he is back, no longer teaching history but certainly running the rugby, keen to ensure that the Monnas way of playing rugby continues - a game for 15 players.
Coetzee's first period running rugby was highly successful. He coached a winning, try-scoring team and also the Golden Lions Craven Week side, SA Academy side and SA Schools. For three years he also coached the University of Johannesburg.
His experience with the Golden Lions was, to say the least, varied. He coached the union's Under-19 side but he was also pitchforked into the senior team, the Lions, when Loffie Eloff was summarily dismissed. Coetzee says of his time at the Lions that he learnt a great deal, especially in the matter of organisation and in the matter of rugby from John Mitchell with his vast knowledge of the game..
And, as you would expect, Coetzee is looking forward to the season. He expects his team to be talented though not star-studded, which he thinks may work together unto the building of a strong team spirit.
No teach - long day till you can get out onto the field? Not so. There is plenty to do, like taking groups of Grade 8 and Grade 9 for skills training in what used to be a PT period.
It's good that Monnas get their own back as they have lost some recently. Wynand Moolman, the previous 1st XV coach, upped and left at the end of last year to become the deputy principal of Walvis Bay Private High School in Namibia.
Then Schalk Reynders, the deputy head of Monnas, has become the principal of Hoërskool Menlopark in Pretoria. Reynders, an Old Boy of Helpmekaar, has been teaching for 28 years, the last 17 teaching match at Monnas where he was the deputy head. He was much involved in sport at Monnas, coaching athletics, cricket and rugby. He coached the Golden Lions Craven Week side in 2007 and 2008. He is likely to take an interest in Menlo's rugby! Menlo's 1st XV coach, Dean van der Watt was also at Monnas for a while.
Monnas, it seems is sending out rugby missionaries and must be so glad that Hans Coetzee is back.