Why I Quit: Sewabu

Outgoing Naitasiri Rugby head coach Koli Sewabu has broken his silence on why he had resigned. Speaking to SUNsports from Wellington, New Zealand yesterday Sewabu said he had worked in
19 Mar 2018 10:00
Why I Quit: Sewabu
Former Naitasiri head coach Koli Sewabu has broken his silence on why he resigned.

Outgoing Naitasiri Rugby head coach Koli Sewabu has broken his silence on why he had resigned. Speaking to SUNsports from Wellington, New Zealand yesterday Sewabu said he had worked in an unprofessional environment that produced unnecessary stresses on his role as head coach of Naitasiri Rugby.

“The unnecessary hindrances by executive committee have become a barrier to the personal and professional development of players and coaches in relation to the team goals we have set not only for this season, but for years to come,” Sewabu said.

“There has been constant interference to my role as head coach, the unprofessional approach in trying to set up certain policies that hinders the development of rugby for the province.“

Sewabu said NRU has a constitution, managed by an executive committee who are voted members of the union.

“They decide on what is best for Naitasiri Rugby,” he said.


Lack of transparency

The former Flying Fijians No.8 said he did agree of a few policy decisions that he alleged were made in the dark by those who do not qualify to make calls in the union.

“Any policy that has to be put in place must be passed through an annual general or special general meeting. Unfortunately this is not the case. Sadly, there are decisions being made by those who are not supposed to be making decisions for the union,” Sewabu claimed.

“They have been allowed to sit around the table and make decisions they were not supposed to be making.  A selection policy was put through that should allow a few group to select the weekly team to compete for the Skipper Cup.

“There were no consultations made with myself as head coach, or to include our coaching panel to consider what is the best way forward. When questioned, there were no real reasons to justify the need for change.”

Sewabu questioned who will be accountable if things do not go well and according to the plan and expectations of the vanua, fans and stakeholders


Short sighted’ conditions

“There were also conditions put in place to place me or any other who wish to be involved with Fiji Rugby as ‘ineligible’ to coach the Naitasiri team.

“I find this very ‘short sighted’ and a hindrance to coaching and management pathways for those who aspire to aim for higher honours to represent our beloved nation.

“As a result, I have asked for my resignation two weeks ago during one of our executive meetings based on these conditions as I do not see it fit for purpose in what I envisioned as a coach. I also mentioned to the committee that it may be best I remove myself as coach if I am being a hindrance to their vision,” he said.

“To this there was no direct reply and we agreed on moving forward and focusing on getting the team ready for the season. Sadly, the constant interference continues and I made the decision it is time for me to walk away and allow them to decide on what is best for Naitasiri Rugby.”


Strategic plans set from 2017

“I came in as coach for the province last year and I totally understood where the performance gaps were from past years. My aim and that of our coaching panel is to find ways of how we can reduce these gaps and perform better as a union,” he said.

“There has always been a focus on winning, however there was no development plan in place to identify the performance gaps nor a plan in place for what exactly is needed that to produce the winning formula that is so highly demanded.

“I have also done workshops with our team from last year to identify areas of need to focus on so we can better our performances this year.

“These include club visitations at my own cost. Together with our coaching team, we have put together an action plan to try and bridge the performance gaps that have been identified and work towards achieving this,” he said.


2017 achievements

For the first year, Sewabu says, Naitasiri finished well as top of the points table, and managed to get into top four, losing out in the semi-final.

“The 2017 season has set the platform and a benchmark for where they want to finish this year. More players were drafted into the Fiji Drua squad and three made the Flying Fijians.”

He said for 2018, they finished as finalist for the Provincial 10s and six made it to the Fiji Tuwawa’s initial squad for the Duco 10s Series earlier this year.

“Five of our players played in the recent Pacific Rugby Challenge as Fiji Warriors. These players have performed well, got exposed to higher levels of competition and will definitely bring experience back and hope to lift to lift performance for 2018.

“For the first time in 10 years, we have revived our zone competition, casting the net a bit wider to identify more talents within our province and build a stronger base as part of our succession plan.

“There are technical and tactical challenges we have identified we need to build on. As a coach, one will understand as a coach, one will understand that this is not an overnight solution but that which requires time and patience. So I do not see the problem of trying to make ‘unnecessary’ changes to a system that I believe is working well,” Sewabu added.
“But maybe this is not enough and not in pars with the expectations of the current committee, hence my resignation. I wish Naitasiri Rugby well for this season”
– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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