#FIFA Women's World Cup

Bev Priestman on preparing a squad and getting your message across

Bev Priestman, 14 May 2024


Bev Priestman has been in charge of Canada’s women’s team since 2020, and can count an Olympic gold medal among her achievements. Her approach to preparing her squad for tournament football has been a major factor in her success, but getting your team ready is not an exact science.

Lessons from the 2023 World Cup
Of the many developments that came to light during FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, Priestman was particularly struck by the fact that the teams were better organised in defence than in previous tournaments, and operated in tighter blocks. Teams are also becoming more adaptable and technically proficient as the game continues to professionalise. This is one reason why fears that expanding the tournament to 32 teams would dilute quality turned out to be unfounded.

Preparing a squad for a World Cup
Preparing a squad for a World Cup is a complicated balancing act. As Priestman says, there are a number of different factors that need to be taken into account, including ensuring your players know your own game plan, analysing how the opposition likes to play, and getting your squad into the right mindset prior to games. She is a firm believer that every player in the squad should be fully prepared to make decisive contributions at key moments, and she is also careful to limit the extent of her personal involvement on the training ground. By delegating a lot of day-to-day responsibility to her staff, she can increase the impact of her own interventions when the going gets tough.

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