Force bolster their coaching ranks

Date published: August 21 2013

The Western Force have appointed David Wessels and Kevin Foote to a first-class coaching panel for the next two years.

The Western Force have appointed David Wessels and Kevin Foote to a first-class coaching panel for the next two years.

Wessels, who will be the senior assistant coach, is a former defence consultant to the Force, Stormers and Brumbies, and Foote, who is the Perth-based outfit's new back-line coach,is a Varsity Cup-winning head coach in South Africa.

The duo will assist Force head coach Michael Foley in managing the development of the squad for the 2014 and 2015 Super Rugby seasons.

The South African pair was on staff with the Force as defensive consultants in 2013, with the former University of Cape Town coaching duo taking up full-time roles with the Western Australian team from next season.

Foley said Foote and Wessels bring with them a wealth of rugby knowledge and experience to assist with the further development of the Western Force squad.

“We're focused on developing our players and we're bringing together coaches that are dedicated to achieving that,” he told the Western Force's official website.

“Team culture, game style and personal development are areas that all our coaches need to understand and embrace to ensure players expectations of themselves and each other constantly grow.

“Both Kevin and Dave earned respect among the squad as a result of their knowledge of the game and their ability to effectively and energetically communicate their thoughts with all squad members.”

Wessels will oversee the Force's defence. His time with the Brumbies in 2012 saw them concede the fewest points in the Australian conference and the second least overall, while the Force's defence took significant steps forward in 2013, conceding 15 fewer tries than in the previous season.

He held the role of assistant coach for Ikeys (University of Cape Town) in South Africa's Varsity Cup alongside Foote for three seasons, during a time that saw them qualify for the play-offs in 2009, finish runners-up in 2010 before defeating Tuks (University of Pretoria) in the 2011 final.

Wessels is keen to build on what was achieved during the 2013 Super Rugby season.

“It's exciting to be part of a team on the rise and I'm looking forward to continuing what we started as a coaching group with the Force this season,” he said.

“There were a number of new processes and structures introduced to the team and while they responded very well to these, I'm really looking forward to be able to develop those further this season.

“Foles [Foley] has put a world-class program in place in Perth; there is a strong emphasis on player development and this will hold the club in excellent stead moving forward.”

Foote, a former Western Province U21, Natal Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup) and Springbok Sevens representative, began his coaching career as assistant coach at the Ikeys in 2009, taking over the role from former Springbok centre Robbie Fleck.

He was promoted to the head coaching role in 2011 and guided Ikeys to their first Varsity Cup title, defeating Tuks 26-16 in the final.

Foote, who coached new Western Force recruit Marcel Brache in that Varsity Cup-winning side, is excited to continue being a part of the development of the squad.

“We made considerable headway in a number of areas this season and it's exciting to have the opportunity to be part of developing the team further over the next two years,” he said.

“The team formed a solid foundation this year based on setting itself high standards and we now have a strong base from which to build upon.

“Foles [Foley] has been very targeted in his recruitment for this season and the incoming players will add further quality to what is already a very capable playing squad next season.”

The pair will join the team from South Africa ahead of the start of the 2014 pre-season.