Scott Bemand has taken on the task few coaches relish, taking on a team straight after they have won a World Cup. It is part of the cycle in sport that
there are senior players that retire after major tournaments and wins. As well as this it’s all the planning and focus that went into building a winning
team are now void. A new coach needs to start building again for the next cycle and to look at things from a new point of view as the arena is always
changing. Scott explains “There is a process to re-build the team and it is a double fronted approach with both the Olympics this year and the World
Cup next year”.
Rather than continue with a formula, Scott came into the role and pushed aside all previous thought processes and started with a clean sheet and an
aim, to see who the players were in the Premiership that had a high level of play but have been under the radar. “We started an extensive watching
program around the country” said Scott as he explains his starting point. What he uncovered was some new talent, some raw talent and some talent
that had been put on the shelf. All these players have something in common, something that for Scott is key, hard work and determination. “They
aren’t here by luck, they have proven themselves on the field” explains Scott of the players he scouted on his travels. As I chat with Scott it
becomes very clear that the player’s performance on the field and them being selected is what matters, there is no room for “stars”. This is a
team being built on a set of core values, values that put team and commitment ahead of personality. One that promotes on field performance to do
the talking and one that is mixing fresh talent with experience. One that is very aware that it is an evolving team but making no excuses for it.
Scott's view of the senior players is no different, they are here for the same reason as all the players he has scouted on his travels, hard work
and determination, not because of who they are. The senior players are key to match day analysis and in game experience, to change the game
play relative to what is happening on the pitch. Equally as important for him is the role of the senior players to teach and bring on the newer
player giving them insight into their experience. He is empowering them to take charge and responsibility for what happens on match day, this
ensures there is a connection to all that is happening. This blend is great because all the players have a purpose and a role within the team
and in knowing their part they play it to the best of their ability as he is empowering them.
Talking with Scott about the challenge
of balance that any coach faces, blending raw talent with experience, he is very clear that both have a lot to offer each other and the team as
a whole. He is passionate as he discusses the virtues of various players, what they are bringing to the team and how they all fit together. Scott
talks about the players in a way I have heard so many good coaches talk of their players, he believes in them and trusts them on the day to do
a job on the filed having empowered them. This is the mark of a good coach.
If Scott can deliver all he wants to then he will have built something great with England as well as for Rugby and women’s sport. From my point of
view it is always so good to hear a coach talk like this, it reminds you why you love women’s sport and why you do what you do.