Dash’s Vera Pauw seeking experienced assistant coach
Published 10:26 am, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Vera Pauw has extensive coaching experience all over the world, but that experience does not include the United States.
Now that she has been hired as the new Dash head coach, Pauw’s priority is to find an assistant coach who can show her the way in her new environment.
It is a noteworthy change from the first full-time coaching hire made by the Dash. Before the inaugural season of 2014, the front office made such a large investment in head coach Randy Waldrum that there was not enough money left over to hire a full-time assistant coach.
This time around, it’s a good idea for the long run, but perhaps the biggest short-term need is to prepare for January’s NWSL College Draft. The Dash will have the No. 3 overall pick and five others.
“We are looking for a very experienced assistant coach based in the U.S. who knows the system, who knows the players, who knows where the players are playing, what their qualities are and knowing also all the strengths of the leagues,” Pauw said. “Of course, having coached in South Africa over the last two and a half years, it means I do not have a clear picture of that.
“It’s crucial for the success of the Houston Dash that I have somebody from the country with me.”
Pauw said she also has prioritized learning about the players on the roster by watching every game from the 2017 season. Eventually, Pauw and her yet-to-be-named assistant coach will determine the strengths of the returning players and what types of players they need to add before the 2018 season begins.
“I’m analyzing them all,” Pauw said. “From there, we’ll get balance in the team. We need to see, like every year, what draft players you can attract, what kind of qualities we need to get the balance a step further than where Randy has left them.
“From there, we’re going to work to create teamwork on the pitch, especially that the players understand each other, and that we’re ready with our team strategy and our playing system by the time the league will start.”