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Stoelwinder Squad Stacking Up

Oct 7, 2008  - Craig Lord

Michael Cowley at the Sydney Morning Herald calls coach Grant Stoelwinder's growing Sydney squad a Dream Team after Andrew Lauterstein became the latest Olympic medal winner to sign up alongside Eamon Sullivan and Libby Trickett. Fair point - but be led not into the temptation of swimming Libby in any mixed relays. It just won't wash.

Stoelwinder used to be based in Perth. Well before Beijing, he accepted an offer from the NSW Institute of Sport to coach an elite squad of six to eight swimmers at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Ultimo. Trickett announced her move south from Brisbane last week. Now Lauterstein, 21 and bronze medal winner in that sizzler of a 100m butterfly final that delivered one of Michael Phelps's pieces of eight, has announced that he will leave the Gold Coast and long-time coach Glenn Baker in favour of a shift to Sydney. 

"I'm really looking forward to it, and start there in early November," he told the Aussie media. "It was a tough decision to make because of Glenn. We've been together for so long, and when I moved up to the Gold Coast [in 2006], I actually lived with him for four months. So he's not just a coach, he's a bit of a father figure.

"To leave my coach I've been with since I was 11, who has taken me from an age-group swimmer to being a triple Olympic medallist ... it's a pretty hard time to move because the results are there and obviously the program is working. But in the end, it was just something I needed to do, purely just a change of training environment."

Such moves work for some, not others. Time will tell all ways round. At least Lauterstein showed that he understood a little about the hurt that swings of mood can cause: "Glenn was naturally a bit disappointed because he'd started planning for next year and setting goals, but in the end I think he understands why I need to make the change, and he's behind me 100 per cent." Well, perhaps not quite 100 per cent.