x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Spot in final is Chester Williams' goal to be attained at Ibiza 10s

South Africa legend Chester Williams aims to help the UAE-powered Goal Attained side to the top of the Ibiza 10s, writes Paul Radley.

South Africa rugby great Chester Williams will be on the touchline for the Goal Attained side made up of UAE standouts.
South Africa rugby great Chester Williams will be on the touchline for the Goal Attained side made up of UAE standouts.

A selection of players from UAE rugby's A-list are targeting success today under the guidance of a coach who is usually deals with slightly more luminous stars.

Chester Williams, the former winger who won the World Cup with South Africa in 1995, will oversee the Goal Attained side's campaign at the Ibiza 10s.

With players of the calibre of Jeremy Manning, Dougie Steele, plus the core of the Jebel Ali Dragons treble-winning side from last season, his brief will be easier than some of his previous coaching assignments.

Williams was the rugby consultant for the Oscar-nominated film from 2009, Invictus, a role which meant attempting to turn Matt Damon into a passable rugby player for the silver screen.

The likely viewership will be less this time around, although Saturday's tournament is expected to be played in front of a possible crowd of 5,000 in Ibiza.

The task facing the Goal Attained side is a tough one, with some of the sides in the eight-team international invitational tournament set to include current professional players.

However, this collection of some of the most talented players in the UAE has aspirations for going far in the one-day competition.

"Hopefully, what we are trying to put together will enable us to reach the final or even win the championship here," said Williams, who met up with his new team for the first time yesterday morning.

"We are going to keep our game plan as simple as possible, we need to make sure our basics are right, our attention is right and we play to our structure."

Williams may have been a late arrival in offering his expertise to the side, but the players are well aware of each others' merits.

The squad is drawn from five of the UAE's leading clubs and have been training together since the end of the domestic season for this trip to Ibiza.

The side is led by Taif Al Delamie, the Jebel Ali Dragon and former Arabian Gulf captain.

One of his clubmates, Ian Overton, travelled separately from his teammates after a hospital appointment on Thursday but is expected to be fit to take his place in the line-up for the 10-a-side competition today.

"The players are very excited to be here and to have Chester coaching them," said Bruce King, the manager of the Goal Attained side.

"Chester has been switching things around slightly, adding his take and tweaks which has been great."

 

pradley@thenational.ae

 

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