After eight years as head coach of the Cheetahs, Naka Drotske has announced his retirement from rugby. Drotske will step down as coach after the current Super Rugby competition. Drotske will be remembered as one of the biggest legends of Free State and Cheetah Rugby in the 120-year existence of the union.
He served Free State Rugby as a player, coach and administrator over a period of two decades. Drotske managed to achieve the unique distinction by winning the Currie Cup as a player and captain, as team manager and coach during the 2005 to 2007 period. Drotske was also part of the Springbok squad that won the World Cup in 1995.
As coach in 2013, he led the Cheetahs to the play-offs in both the Currie Cup and Super Rugby competitions – a first for the Bloemfontein side. Drotske coached the Free State Cheetahs in 90 Currie Cup and 114 Super Rugby games to date. A total of 14 players became Springboks under his leadership.
The Managing Director of the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd, Harold Verster is full of praise for the outgoing coach: ‘Naka and I walked a long and pleasant road. I have known him since his schooling days where he played top rugby. He is a strong leader and a wise man. I wish him and his family only the best for the road ahead and look forward to his support of the Toyota Cheetahs. Naka played an essential role in player contracting. With a limited budget he managed to recruit top players and produced Springboks for the Cheetahs.’