Outgoing former Lions assistant coach Joey Mongalo has bid the Lions an emotional farewell after being announced as the Vodacom Bulls’ new defence coach.
Mongalo was on Wednesday officially confirmed as the Bulls’ defence coach when director of rugby Jake White named his senior coaching staff.
It ends the 35-year-old’s nearly decade-long association with Lions rugby. Mongalo served in several roles including defence and attack for the Vodacom Super Rugby, Currie Cup, Provincial Rugby Challenge and junior Lions teams, assisting with winning silverware including back-to-back SA Rugby U19 Championship titles. He also worked as director of rugby at Johannesburg-based KES High School.
In an official statement on social media, Mongalo thanked the Lions and admitted it was not easy to say goodbye.
‘It is never easy to bid farewell, particularly when one has formed meaningful bonds with an astute organisation such as the Lions Rugby Company, an iconic “workplace” like Ellis Park and most importantly exceptional groups of players, staff and management teams, over the last decade,’ Mongalo said.
‘This dear place and its extraordinary people have been good to me and my family over the years and I, in turn, have sought to faithfully serve the Lions brand. I am thankful to every coach and management member that I have served with or led, every player that I have had the privilege of coach and all the ground, office and kitchen staff for making a positive difference in my life.
‘Finally I would like to wish Altmann Allers, Rudolf Straeuli, Cash van Rooyen and Elton Jantjies all the best as they endeavour to uphold the legacy and pride that is synonymous with the Lions brand.’
— Joey Mongalo (@Joeymongalo) May 27, 2020
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images