Taylor returns to Kandy with two South Africans to join the Nittawela Club
Monday, 1 September 2014 00:37
By Shamseer Jaleel
Johan Taylor, the level 3 rugby coach from Ireland, who took over Kandy SC coaching from 2007 to 2012, is back at his former club and already started the sessions with the group of young and experienced players.
They will be expected to bring back the League plus the knockout trophy back to their club at Nittawela when they battle it out in November. He will have two South African players joining the club later on next month along with two more Pacific Islanders.
Kandy will be led by former Trinity and Sri Lanka skipper Sean Wijesinghe, who is a strict disciplined lad on the field, with a balance of youth and experience. Taylor, who is known for his ever cool behavior under pressure and his changing of players at critical times, will be tested to the maximum.
In 2007, Kandy SC won the League Championship, Clifford Cup and defeated all teams in that year. They became not only the triple champions but also remained unbeaten in the season.
Kandy SC continued their winning streak in 2008 and 2009. In the following two years Kandy remained the league and Clifford Cup champions, though they could not remain unbeaten. The downfall of Kandy SC started in the year 2012, when they lost the league to Havies but defended the Clifford Cup. But in 2013, they lost both to Sri Lanka Navy.
Taylor was also the Head Coach of the National team in 2008, in the Asian Five Nations Division 1 tournament when they beat Singapore and qualified for the Top 5 the following year. He is also a fine Golfer, winning the menâ€™s segment at the Oman Air Golf Open Championship, which was conducted at the Victoria Golf and Country Resort course in Digana.
The side will have some new faces this year with former Up Country SC player Nigel Ratwatte and Buwanaka Udangamuwa joining the Nittawela club. Their forward line will strengthen with the inclusion of two South African players who will be in Kandy within two weeks. They are Quinton Crocker and Chrish Clotte, both playing in the Currie Cup in South Africa at present.
The club is very fortunate to have senior players such as national sevens skipper Fazil Mairja, Anurudha Wilvara, Gayan Weeraratne, Richard Dharmapala, Lavanga Perera and Roshan Weeraratne turning out for the Nittawela club and the rugby-crazy spectators who get behind the club in victory or defeat.