Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe has opened up about his maiden season in charge at franchise level, highlighting how an initial meeting with the players and board paved the way for a successful campaign.

The Johannesburg-based side won two trophies in 2018/19, the country’s premier competition in the 4-Day Domestic Series and also the T20 Challenge prize.

It was an impressive return for a man that had not coached at that level and the former Lions all-rounder reflected on an early meeting with the players in the middle of 2018 where his plans were laid down for his first season in charge at the Wanderers.

Apart from guiding the Lions to the double, Nkwe was also the winning coach at the inaugural Mzansi Super League, where he led the Jozi Stars, whose squad was filled with players from his franchise.

Earlier in the season, Gauteng won the Africa T20 Cup for the first time too, making it a holistically successful 12 months since Nkwe took the reins. The Lions boss says he was happy with how the players responded following that initial indaba at Sun City when he took charge.

The term ‘Lions Way’ was mentioned quite a lot as Nkwe spoke. Asked to define what it meant, he pointed to attributes of the great animal itself as some of those similar to those which his squad was striving for.

Nkwe was also excited by some of the talent that was filtering through the Lions system.

He believes this past season’s double-winning squad had plenty of potential to develop even further.

It means that players like Nandre Burger and Delano Potgieter, stars of the Africa T20 Cup, Kagiso Rapulana, Ryan Rickelton, Kgaudisa Molefe and Bryce Parsons could get more opportunities in the forthcoming season.

Nkwe says they have enough inhouse talent at Gauteng cricket to challenge again for top honours in the next 12 months. – Report by Thahir Asmal