“The boys have been working really hard, and it is good to see. They had a break at the end of last season, but we have been back for a while now. We started in the gym, and then we have moved onto the nets in the High Performance Centre,” Titans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi explained.
“It is a busy time, because we have some players who are working on fitness, and then some have been getting ready for Proteas tours as well as South Africa ‘A’ tours. Part of the prep has been trying to get those guys ready to tour the sub-continent, working on playing the spinning ball and things like that.”
For the Titans, success for the franchise is not measured merely by the size of the trophy cabinet. Advancing the careers of young men to their highest possible level is a huge goal of the coaching staff, and Mashimbyi reiterated this point.
“Winning trophies may be a bigger priority to other franchises, but for us, our biggest priority is producing more national players. It is something that Mark (Boucher) and I place huge emphasis on, because that is our job. We have to be producing players for the next level, and it is pleasing to see guys taking their chances,” he said of the latest graduates to the international ranks.
There is no rest for the wicked and, having got close in the last few seasons, the big carrot for the Titans is a first-ever clean sweep of franchise trophies.
“There is no need to try and motivate the players about it. The writing is on the wall,” Mashimbyi pointed out.
“If you look at the last few seasons, we have got close, so now it is up to us to take that next step. The players know this, and we have to look towards that in the new season.”
For now, however, the Titans are on a short break after slogging through their winter training. There is just over a week to catch breath, before training resumes in earnest. The fruits of that considerable labour will surely bear fruit in the summer.