Over and above his strong technical knowledge of the game, Keith has a unique ability to foster confidence in players and develop cohesiveness among the team. His ability to teach and mentor players of all skill levels makes him an asset to all rugby clubs
Keith is the ultimate team man. He is driven to give his best to the players he coaches, being the first to arrive at trainings and games, and the last to leave. With Keith as coach, players cannot help but try to emulate his passion and dedication to rugby. He has a depth of rugby expertise unseen in most career coaches that only comes from genuine love for the game. Keith thrives in the team environment, and brings out the best in those around him. He is well respected as someone who would never ask a player to do something that he is not willing to do himself. Being coached by Keith Friedlander was one of the best rugby experiences of my life, and any club, coaching clinic, school or otherwise, would be lucky to have him in their ranks.
I had the pleasure of being coached by Keith in 2013/2014 after playing with him for 8 years. Having played as both a back and forward, he is equally as passionate as he is knowledgeable, about rugby. He is a great personality to have around a club and an excellent communicator. Specializing in the most frequent parts of the game, the tackle contest (loves defense!) and the breakdown, I highly recommend Keith as a coach!
I met Keith in 2012 when I began playing rugby union with Maccabi Rugby NSW. Keith was club captain at the time. We had former Wallabies great Glen Ella coaching the team into the 2013 Maccabiah Games and expectations were high. Keith demonstrated his virtuous abilities in his role. He showed a genuine interest in not only his fitness and wellbeing, but that of his fellow players around him.
In 2014, I felt I wanted to step up and make the first grade team. I knew the issue for me was my awkward tackling technique. I told Keith I wanted to make the move, he asked me what I thought I needed to do to improve to the standard. I mentioned my defensive woes. For the following weeks, Keith took it upon himself to come to training an hour early to teach me how to tackle. He had no obligation to do so. Nor any reason other than he wanted to help a younger player achieve his goals. We did not stop until I was already in the firsts team and I went on to play in that entire season. These characteristics are just some of those that make Keith the amazing athlete and sportsman that he is. He is definitely a captain and coach that was able to get the best ability out of me as a player.
I had the privilege of playing with Keith and to be coached by him. His passion for the game coupled with a high rugby IQ enabled him to accomplish things on the field that few could match and thus inspired others to raise their game to another level. This passion has translated seamlessly into his coaching, instilling in his players an attitude that pushed the limits of their potential. Keith always has time to offer individualized support to each player and under his guidance I became a more versatile player improving in a number of skills, particularly my approach to defence.