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Aussie Coaches Against Quick-Fix Plan

Apr 3, 2013  - Craig Lord

Australia may race at Barcelona FINA world titles this summer without a head coach at the helm after a recommendation from elite coaches to avoid interim solutions and wait until a proper replacement for Leigh Nugent can be found.

Coach Ron McKeon, Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association president, tells The Australian today that his organisation is "championing a different solution to the vacuum at the top of the ailing national team". 

Coaches want a men's head coach and a women's head coach to lead the way at world titles, McKeon tells reporter Nicole Jeffery. Elite coaches have called on Swimming Australia to wait until after world titles, when the market for big names is more open, to find a permanent replacement for Nugent, who stepped down the way of inquiries into the Stilnox saga and team behaviour last year. 

"The new high-performance director (still to be appointed) could manage the logistics for the men's and women's coaches in the short term and that would give the sport the opportunity to think about what it needs for the long term," McKeon tells The Australian. "A lot of things that have been rolled out since the London Olympics have been reactive and we need to take the time to prepare the way forward."

The structure of head men and women coaches had worked well at the Aquatic Super Series meet in Perth in January, McKeon told the paper. "Leigh Nugent raised the concept and it was effective at the Perth meet; there was good engagement with the athletes and coaches," says McKeon.

The Swimming Australia board considered the coach proposal at a meeting last night Down Under.

Read the article in full at The Australian.