Canada's senior women's team coach is reducing his role with the team - setting the table for his former assistant to take over ahead of the 2010 Women's World Cup.
With increased time commitments at his full time occupation in the mechanical and electrical contracting sector in Calgary, women's coach Quentin Fyffe is stepping down to a more technical role, making way for former assistant coach John Long (pictured) to take the helm.
Fyffe, a former fullback with the Canadian men's senior team, joined the women's team as head coach in 2007, claiming a 4-0 record including a pair of wins over the USA as well as Scotland and Wales. In 2008 Canada fell to England twice and defeated the USA women at the Nations Cup in Esher, England.
"Life gets in the way of the things you love to do sometimes," explained Fyffe from his Calgary office. "The amount of time to properly prepare the women and trying to keep up with work commitments - it just wouldn't have been fair to the women."
Fyffe says the fact he will be able to stay involved by looking at video and attending camps as available, will ensure the continuity on the team stays intact as Canada prepares for the 2010 World Cup in England.
The decision to bring Long, with Kris de Scossa acting as assistant coach, was ratified at a conference call meeting of Rugby Canada's High Performance committee earlier this week. Long is excited to increase his role with the team and cites having Fyffe still involved as a huge benefit to all involved.
"Quentin is so well respected for the work he has done - so to have him stay involved will be massive," said Long, who will continue his job as the Youth Development Office for Alberta Junior Rugby's southern district based in Calgary.
The fact that Long and de Scossa have worked together as assistant coaches to Fyffe will also keep the momentum going well as there will not be an acclimatization for the players to get to know a new coach.
"Kris and I get along so well on and off the pitch, so to have him involved will be critical," offered Long.
Canada will play in the second Nations Cup this August in Oakville, ON taking on England, the USA and Wales among others. Long says it will be an important chance to bring his players together and get them on the same page.
"Against England we competed for over fifty minutes before we fell off from a fitness perspective," says Long. "To be able to bring the team together earlier this year and really get everyone understanding their roles within the team.
"We need to get together as much as possible and get that consistency."
Canada's Director of High Performance, Geraint John, is pleased with the transition.
"Being just eighteen months out from the 2010 World Cup - it was clear we needed to make a choice within the program - or risk losing the momentum we have built since 2007," said John from Victoria, BC. "John and Kris will be able to keep the team on an even keel moving forward - and in turn working with Quentin - will give us the best possible outcome I think."
Also over the next few weeks announcements will be made regarding preparation camps, playing schedules as well as new appointments for a women's team manager and a strength and conditioning coach
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS