Penn State Harrisburg (PSH) Women's Head Coach Adam Clay and Assistant Coach Rudy Grubesky, had the opportunity to observe a training session conducted by New Zealand (NZ) Women's National Team Head Coach Tom Sermanni and his staff as they prepared the Football Ferns for a behind-closed-doors match with Mexico. Coach Sermanni has an extensive coaching background that includes leading the women's national teams for the United States, Australia, and Canada.
This was a great opportunity for the Penn State Harrisburg coaches to talk with Coach Sermanni and ask a lot of questions as he prepares his team for the Women's World Cup in France next month.
The Harrisburg coaches were also able to talk with NZ Assistant coach, Owain Prosser, who has just been appointed as the Coach Development Manager for New Zealand Football. In a recent article, Prosser said that he is "looking forward to building on the strong progress that has been made in coach development in recent years, which has placed New Zealand Football as a leader in this area in the national sporting landscape." The PSH coaches also got to watch NZ Assistant Coach Wendi Henderson as she ran a portion of the training session. The local coaches also interacted with the team's Sport Scientist Reilly O'Meagher to discuss the warm-up that he used for the team and how he was utilizing heart rate monitors during each training session as they built towards the World Cup.
Head Coach Adam Clay said, "I have done some research on the heart rate monitors, but to see how they are being used at the highest level was really eye opening. I can't thank the New Zealand team and coaching staff enough for allowing us to be there and taking the time to really talk soccer and coaching while we were there. To be around a coach of Tom's caliber and see how humble and willing he is to help other coaches is something I would have never expected and will never forget."
Coach Grubesky added, "It was great to be able to talk with Tom again. I first got to meet him when he was the head coach of the Orlando Pride NWSL team. He is really down-to-earth and he spent a lot of time talking with us about everything from what he wanted to accomplish in the training session to his insights about getting ready for the World Cup. As a college coach, getting to talk with Coach Sermanni and his staff along with several players was very helpful."
The New Zealand Football Ferns definitely have some new fans at Penn State Harrisburg.