Peter Steinberg is looking forward to identifying new players and expanding the player pool after signing a two-year extension to his contract as USA Women’s Eagles head coach to take him through to 2013.
Steinberg took over after Kathy Flores stepped down after Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 and led the Women’s Eagles to a third place in this year’s Women’s Nations Cup, losing two matches narrowly, including 15-11 to eventual champions England.
“The performance at the Nations Cup was strong even if the outcomes were not,” said Steinberg. “It was tough to lose two games on the last play, particularly against England when we believed we had won the game.”
Despite the Nations Cup losses, the tournament allowed Steinberg to begin the process of building towards Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France, capping 11 new players, and the player identification process is a priority for the head coach in 2012.
“We are a bit behind some of the other countries in identifying players and building the player pool. That means that 2012 will be a year of player identification and development. We have started that process at the Women’s Division I playoffs and will continue next weekend when we scout the Women’s Premier League and the Division II club playoffs.”
Steinberg has been impressed with the level of athleticism of players at all levels, but knows that skill level is an area that needs improvement. Players that come into the pool in 2012 will get individual development programmes for skills, strength and conditioning, nutrition and mental skills.
“We want to know who is in our expanded pool for 2014 by the end of next year,” said Steinberg. “We are looking for players who do not just want to be Eagles, but are committed to becoming world-class players. This means finding out who is willing to make the sacrifices every day to be a better player.”
The Women's Eagles year will finish 2011 with a mini-camp in Chicago for local players in December and start next year with the winter Elite Camp in January.
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