Monday, April 27, 2009

Lessons that international soccer teams have to learn before 2010

Waratahs beef up security with SAS

The Waratahs have increased their security for their three-match tour of South Africa following several incidents in the Republic, including the tragic death of Brumbies second-rower Shawn Mackay.

In addition Waratahs captain Phil Waugh has twice addressed his team in the past week to reinforce the need for the players to stay focused on the massive task ahead and avoid any trouble.

Waugh spoke of the need to remain safe, and for the players to return to Sydney knowing they had done all they could to win the games and the points required to make it into this year's semi-finals.

The Waratahs have two former SAS army personnel in the squad to keep them out harm's way should there be any public protests in the wake of South Africa's national elections last Wednesday according to Rugby Heaven.

They will also help the Waratahs avoid any potential delays if there are domestic political problems.

Waratahs manager Chris Webb said there were three main reasons behind the heightened security.

One was the national election, the other was the relocation of the IPL cricket tournament from India to South Africa, and the third was to avoid any misfortunes of the kind that happened to Mackay, who was hit by a vehicle at 4am in Durban on March 27 and later died in hospital.

Webb also confirmed Waugh's stern addresses to the team
, the last being at Friday's training session. The Waratahs will be in Durban for their second match against the Sharks in round 13.

"The perception back home [is that] there are issues over here; then [there is] the Shawn Mackay scenario where the welfare of the players needs to be paramount," Webb told RugbyHeaven.

"It is a concern coming over to South Africa and staying in areas that may not be 100 per cent [safe] all the time.

Also, with the last three rounds of the competition to decide our fate, we need to be doing everything we can to give them the best opportunity to do well."
The two security agents have worked with Australian rugby teams in the past, including the Wallabies.

One of them was with the Brumbies in their recent trip to South Africa and played a vital role in providing assistance when the Mackay accident occurred.
"[The aim] of employing a security company is to provide some extra piece of mind, to provide a bit of local knowledge," said Webb.

"If there are demonstrations, they are tapped into police or security agencies [that know] where not to go, or when to move at the right time.

Breaking up their tour by stopping at several locations rather than two or three, as in the past, will also help the players to stay mentally fresh, Webb said.

"We have definitely split up how we organised our stays," he said.

"For example, we are in Pretoria for three days, then we go to Bloemfontein, where we will stay in two hotels to mix it up a little.

"It is good for mental freshness."

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

The world is slowly awaking from a deep slumber.