Former Hawks coach Dempsey is raring to work with fledgling talent
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