NEW Bradford Salem boss, Bob Hood believes that his experience could be vital in helping the club achieve their aspirations.

Hood, who is the Managing Director at Rugby Union Coaching Services Ltd, has a wealth of experience having been a former England Counties, England U20 Counties, Yorkshire Seniors and U20’s Head Coach.

He took over the hotseat in May after Salem made the decision to relieve coaching duo Glenn Morrison and Neil Spence of their duties.

Since his appointment the West Yorkshire side have brought in the former Super League star, Francis Cummins as their new Rugby Development Officer, an impressive move at any level of rugby.

“Of course, it’s key for Salem that I’m experienced but it’s equally important to me because it gives me the confidence to go into this role without any fear,” said Hood when questioned about his experience in the game.

He added: “I’ve tried lots of things and I’ve witnessed lots of things throughout my coaching career, so I know what works and I know how to empower players rather than instruct them.

“I’m not here to spin the wheel; Spenno (Neil Spence) did a great job here before, but we are looking at it slightly differently regarding the style of rugby that we’re going to play.”

Hood admitted that he was slightly shocked to get the role, saying: “I was surprised to get a call from Salem in all honesty. Now I’m in the job, it’s really inspired me, and I’ve got my coaching mojo back. I’m now just ready to take it to the next level.”

Salem return to competitive action on September 2 when they host West Leeds, and it’s something that Hood has been eyeing up since his arrival.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s always a challenge and you can never really tell how you’re faring as a team until you get into match play.

“However, we will be putting in the work at our training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to make sure we are in the best possible shape ahead of that game.”

Commenting on potential player arrivals, Hood confirmed that Salem will be working closely with a certain club in relation to transfers.

He said: “We are happy with how the squad is shaping up ahead of next season, however, we are anticipating a couple more players to arrive at the club.

“We are going to go into a bit of a relationship with Otley Rugby Club because I have a strong connection with their head coach Kyle Dench, who I used to coach.

“Otley’s players who are perhaps not getting as much game time will come and play with us. Currently, we don’t know what that will look like until the season starts.”

As Chris Robinson, Salem’s Chairman of Rugby, said to the T&A in a recent interview, Hood is hoping that his and Francis Cummins’ name can help to attract players to Bradford Salem.

He said: “We are hoping that’s the case, that players do see where Salem are heading. Francis has got a CV to die for and I think the two of us, along with Andy Robinson (Bob Hood’s assistant), can bring a lot to the table. That’s why we don’t have any hesitation in bringing in some of the Otley players because they would get the same sort of attention that they would get at that level.”

Salem returned to pre-season on June 29, a date which also saw Hood give his opening presentation to the players ahead of the new campaign.

He admitted that it was a resounding success, saying: “The presentation night was really well received.

“We asked the players what their vision was in relation to playing, coaching and how they view the upcoming season.

“We also did some group work and that helped us to put a plan together for the upcoming campaign.

“There’s a lot of things that we are putting into place at Bradford Salem, an example being that we are conducting monthly player reviews on flash reports. We’ve also established a code of conduct, which the players have all agreed to.

“After the presentation, we went out onto the field and I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. The core group of players are all very talented and there should be a cause for optimism.

“Furthermore, the group have all bought into my ideas and how I want to play, while my sessions have been well received. It’s only the early stages and we are aware that we’ve not had loads of time together, but the early signs are very promising.”