GB Women’s head coach Audrey Cooper heads off today to start the next chapter of her coaching career. After rejecting the opportunity to coach professionally in Europe previously to maximise the GB women’s team preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the 2012-13 season will see Cooper lead Sagres NUC in Switzerland.
“I am really looking forward to this new challenge, to be able to coach a club team week in week out in what I believe will be a very competitive league this year. I have a mix of experienced and younger players and I’m eager to start working with them in preparation for what I hope is an enjoyable and successful season. I am told we have a vociferous 1000+ crowd at home games so maybe it will feel like Earls Court again!”
This does not however mean Coopers impact on British Volleyball is over. Audrey will continue as Head Coach for the important European Qualifiers against Romania, Portugal and Croatia early in September: “I battled very hard for the GBW to be entered into this competition because I believe they are hugely important for us and for the future of Women’s volleyball in the UK. No British team has ever qualified for either the 3rd round or the finals and after a good Olympic showing we want to continue our development, keep British Volleyball in the spotlight and progress through to the next round in Summer 2013. NUC were very understanding of how important this next month is for me and my team and we have found a fantastic solution to make things work.
In partnership with NUC, Audrey has arranged a two-week traing camp in Switzerland for the GB women to prepare. The camp will give the team the opportunity for a completely different environment, with plenty of opportunity for quality training and scrimmage matches against very good club teams. Audrey and the squad will be joined and supported by the following staff at different times throughout the preparation: Rob Flay (Asst Coach/Manager), Matt Bianco (Statistician), Jemma Oliver (SHU Physio), Joanne Butt (SHU Sports Psychologist), Gary Hutt (SHU Strength & Conditioning) and Dave Goodchild (Asst Coach), Ian Goswell (Asst Coach) for the European competition.Sagres NUC, based in Neuchatel is an established club with successful teams spanning across all ages and a strong junior set up. Audrey will lead the team in the Swiss premier league, where they have been 2nd for the last two seasons, and in the European CEV Cup. The team is a mix of Swiss National Team and international players and Cooper will be their first full time professional coach: