We'll be the next Barca! Boss Brailsford wants Team Sky to be 'admired' like Messi and co
01:04 GMT, 29 January 2013
01:04 GMT, 29 January 2013
Sir Dave Brailsford has revealed that he is part of a group of elite coaches who hold regular meetings to share information and trade secrets.
Among those involved are Stuart Lancaster, head coach to the English rugby team, Mike Forde, director of football operations at Chelsea, Geoff McGrath of the McLaren F1 team, and Damien Comolli, former director of football strategy at Liverpool.
‘We meet regularly, and it’s expanding,’ said Brailsford, the British Cycling performance director and Team Sky principal.
‘It’s about getting some leading guys together and thinking about things from a high performance perspective. Damien is the numbers guy, and Stuart’s an interesting guy who’s doing very well.’
Ambitious: Sir Dave Brailsford wants to make Team Sky into an 'admired sports team'
The group – sport’s equivalent of a ‘brain trust’ – will hold their next meeting in April, said Brailsford, who added that he is keen to involve coaches from American sport, perhaps including Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s coach whose story was immortalised in the book and film, Moneyball. Brailsford has met Beane and declares himself an admirer.
‘It’s becoming a bit more formal, and we’ re moving towards having a name, but we’re in the nice position of having other people wanting to join,’ said Brailsford.
Brailsford also said that one of his ambitions is for Team Sky to become ‘the most admired sports team in the world.’
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Citing Barcelona and McLaren as teams towards which he aspires, he explained that achieving their ultimate ambition of winning the Tour de France, which they did with Bradley Wiggins last year, led him to another question: ‘One of the issues with having a goal based only on results is you think, “what’s next” And we wanted to be as ambitious as we could be, so we asked: “what would the most admired sports team look like”
‘There are four elements,’ Brailsford continued. ‘Having the best performances, the most engaged fans, the most satisfied partners, and, most importantly, that we’re recognised as being clean.’
On this fourth point Team Sky endured a difficult off-season when, in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal, they re-stated their zero tolerance doping policy and insisted that all members of staff sign a document promising no previous transgressions.
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This saw Bobby Julich, a coach, and Steven de Jongh, a sports director, both leave after admitting to using EPO as riders, while Geert Leinders, the Belgian doctor now implicated in a doping case involving the former Rabobank team, was dismissed in October when it became clear that he represented, as Brailsford put it, ‘a reputational risk.’
Brailsford admitted that the team’s performance could suffer this season as a result of the departures, which also included Sean Yates, who has retired, and Michael Rogers, who has joined Alberto Contador at Saxo-Tinkoff. ‘It was a clear decision: do we compromise our 9zero tolerance9 policy or change the policy and be willing to take a step back in performance’ said Brailsford.
‘We decided that, yes, we will potentiallly compromise performance and stick to our policy. If managed correctly we shouldn’t see a drop in performance, but we’ll wait and see.’