For­mer Hawks coach Dempsey is rar­ing to work with fledg­ling tal­ent

The Herald - Sport - - RUGBY - GARY HEATLY

JAMIE Dempsey, man­ager of the Glas­gow and the West arm of the BT Sport Scot­tish Rugby Academy, has spent the hard­est six months of his ca­reer pre­par­ing to coach his young charges.

Now the start­ing gun has been fired, he ad­mits he can­not wait to start work­ing with the 23 male and fe­male play­ers en­trusted to his care as part of a pro­ject Dempsey be­lieves could cre­ate a golden gen­er­a­tion for Scot­tish rugby.

On Satur­day, the gov­ern­ing body of­fi­cially launched their new de­vel­op­ment path­way, which aims to deepen the pool of play­ers ca­pa­ble of com­pet­ing at the top level of the game.

There will be four bases for the academy – Ed­in­burgh, Borders and East Loth­ian, Cale­do­nia and Glas­gow and the West – and at the week­end the 87 promis­ing male and fe­male play­ers, who will be part of it, were un­veiled. Dempsey, the for­mer Glas­gow Hawks head coach, has been in post since just be­fore the turn of the year, de­vel­op­ing a train­ing pro­gramme that will take place at Broad­wood Sta­dium in Cum­ber­nauld.

“It has been the busiest six months of my work­ing life get­ting ev­ery­thing in place, but it will be worth it,” Dempsey said.

“I am re­ally pleased with the coach­ing team and sup­port staff that we have man­aged to put in place while the fa­cil­i­ties at Broad­wood are ex­cel­lent.

“There was then the small mat­ter of iden­ti­fy­ing the play­ers that would be part of things and that in­volved a lot of dis­cus­sion. I am in place to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of the play­ers at both stage two and stage three lev­els and to link them suc­cess­fully with the wider rugby com­mu­nity and, hope­fully, see some of them go­ing on to play for Glas­gow War­riors.

“I also need to sup­port the coach­ing team that we have in place to make sure they are giv­ing the young play­ers ex­actly what they need.

“Hope­fully, by us work­ing to­gether, we can cre­ate an iden­tity as a very elite pro­fes­sional club that for years to come will pro­duce play­ers for the War­riors and Scot­land.”

Hav­ing held var­i­ous coach­ing posts over the years, Dempsey is a char­ac­ter who is pas­sion­ate about rugby. He said: “It is ex­cit­ing when you see play­ers who you have helped along the way go on and play in some big matches.

“I was lucky enough to coach Dun­can Weir while I was also his col­lege lec­turer and I re­mem­ber, in my role as a de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, meet­ing Rob Har­ley while he was play­ing touch rugby in school.

“I hope to play a small part in help­ing oth­ers go on to great things through the academy sys­tem now.”

Else­where in the coun­try, the Ed­in­burgh arm of the academy will be run by for­mer Scot­land scrum-half Graeme Bev­eridge while Aus­tralian Bruce Frame is the man in charge in Cale­do­nia and Chris Dews­nap in the Borders and East Loth­ian.

LABOUR OF LOVE: Jamie Dempsey has toiled man­fully for six months to pre­pare his academy plan

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