|Dual Olympian Fox new Aussie Sharks head coach|
Sydney (May 23).— Former Australian captain and dual Olympian athlete John Fox has been named as head coach of the Aussie Sharks national men’s water polo team.
He will guide the team through next year’s Beijing Olympics until the 2012 London Olympic Games.Fox (44), the older brother of 2000 Olympic gold medallist Jo Fox, takes over from retiring coach, four-time Olympian David Neesham.
Australian Water Polo Inc President Peter Kerr said Fox “had a long, distinguished career in our sport for a relatively young man”.
“The Australian Board is looking forward to supporting him transferring his personal success to the Australian team and men’s water polo in this country.” Fox, who will be based in Canberra close to the Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Sports Commission, said he was exited by his appointment and was looking forward to lifting the men’s 10th ranking in the world.
“Over the next 14 months to Beijing I want to consistently beat teams ranked above us and in Beijing, to be acceptable we need to be somewhere in the top eight.
“The long term aim is going all the way to playing for a medal in London in five years time.
“I’m looking forward to implementing things that I think are necessary, not only at the senior level but right through the men’s programme.”
Fox thanked his family, especially the support of his wife Karen, for allowing him to pursue his passion for the sport but he still believes he has unfinished business.
“In 1998 I finished my playing career with the best finish in a major competition (World Championships or Olympics) as captain of that team. Being a captain I know what it took to get there and I would like to be part of a team to climb the medal dais,” he said.
“I also want to get the players playing and understanding the system and style of play we need to adopt to achieve those results.
“We have the individuals but not the team understanding. It’s not going to happen overnight.”
Fox played 362 internationals in a career spanning 1985-1998, winning a bronze medal in the 1993 World Cup and captaining the Sharks to their best result at a FINA World Championships, fourth in Perth in 1998.
He played the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics and four FINA World Championships — Madrid (1986), Perth (1991, 1998) and Rome (1994).
His other two World Cup events were Berlin (1989) and Barcelona (1991).
Fox is currently the national junior men’s coach and will be taking the team to the FINA World Championships in Long Beach, USA in August.
His immediate aim will be to select and take the senior team to China and on to Germany for World League matches in July and August.
He was the assistant coach at the Australian Institute of Sport water polo programme in 2004 and head coach in 2005 before taking up the junior men’s appointment in 2006.
He coached the Australian University team at the Universiade Games in Beijing in 2001 and Ishmir, Turkey in 2005.
Fox is looking forward to working with the juniors in Long Beach, saying it was the culmination of a four-year plan, which included his coaching role with the national youth team in 2005-06.
He began his playing career in Melbourne in 1979 and turned out for the Victorian Tigers, Brisbane Barracudas and Canberra Dolphins in the NWPL from 1991 until 2003.
He played his State water polo for Victoria and ACT until the competition was abandoned in preference to the NWPL in 1995.
The head-coach position is funded by the Australian Sports Commission.
news sours Australian Water Polo
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