Insights with Ms. Nicola Demaine, The new head coach of the Bhutan Women’s National Team
1. How’s Bhutan treating you?
I have been here two weeks now and am enjoying my experience of Bhutan so far.
2. How did you know about Bhutan and what was the first thing that came into your mind when you came across the term “Bhutan” and what are the things you searched regarding Bhutan?
I have been to Nepal previously so I had a picture in my mind of how Bhutan might look. On reading up on the country I became intrigued by the notion of national happiness and love the idea of embracing the past and accepting the future on your own terms.
3. Can you provide an overview of the current state of the team, including your recent selections and what are the areas for improvement?
The women’s national team played a good number of games in 2023. They look organized and there are some very talented players. Our selection process involved NWL game observation, two days of trial matches and observations of previous internationals.
4. With Bhutan’s Women’s National Team’s success in recent years, what are your short-term and long-term goals?
We want to continue to build on the progress and success that has gone before. We are setting our sights on the goal of winning SAFF.
5. What is your assessment of the current player roster or how do you see the Bhutanese players?
I am very happy with what I have observed if the players so far. They all seem like good people and I am looking forward to working with them. They are at a good level technically and have good game understanding.
6. Are there specific strengths or areas that the team needs to focus on for player development?
We will be focusing primarily on how we want to play as a team, but will also pay attention to individual player development.
7. What will be your style of play and philosophy? Are there specific tactical approaches or strategies you prefer?
I like to play forward thinking, brave football. But also want to make sure our style works
for every one involved.
8. What’s your approach or feedback regarding women’s football in the country?
There are a lot of really great things happening in Bhutan for women’s football. While I am here I will see where I can help and who I can pass to my knowledge on to.
9. Bhutan’s National team or Bhutan Football as a whole is way behind your country’s trend in terms of football so, what are the things you would like to improve in the next few months?
I have watched women’s football develop in a number of countries. These things take time but anything can be achieved. We need to make sure every girl can try football and find a place where they can participate from 5 years old. Short term I would like to focus on making sure those young girls have excellent role models to inspire them by working with the talented
players already in the academy and national team.
10. Being at BFF Girls Academy and having trained the U19 girls for a few days, can you provide an overview of the academy’s current structure, programs, and objectives? Are you happy about it?
I have only had a few days at the academy but I can see there are good things already in place. My task will be to review where value can be added, with a focus on ensuring players are getting what they need to become their best self.
11. As we all know BFF Girls Academy, Gelephu plays a crucial pipeline in building the senior national team in the future, what are the things you are going to emphasis at the Academy?
I would like to ensure we are delivering an holistic program for the players. This will ensure players can not just develop as players technically and tactically, but develop as people and as athletes.
12. How do you plan to balance academics and athletics within the academy?
We will work closely with the local schools to ensure our students are completing their academic work whilst meeting the demands of player development.
13. What are the changes you want to make out at the BFF Girls Academy, Gelephu?
There are already so great things happening at the academy and we have the support of FIFA with the TDS program. I am not looking for what I can change. I am looking where I can assist, support, educate and enhance the people and processes we have in place.