TABLE TENNIS: Future looks bright at Sanford Link thanks to arrival of new coach Slack

New Sanford Link table tennis coach Graham Slack

New Sanford Link table tennis coach Graham Slack

First published in Sport

Graham Slack, the new head coach at Sanford Link Table Tennis Club, reckons he has seen enough talent at the Swindon Club to continue his record of producing top 10 players.

Last year Slack was awarded South West Region Coach of The Year by the English Table Tennis Association for his work at Gloucester Table Tennis Club.

He helped coach junior cup winners in three different age groups and thinks he can do the same with Sanford’s youngsters.

“I’ve got 30 odd years of coaching and produced national top ten players, it’s about how much they want to play and their dedication.

“I saw one or two that had immediate potential at Sanford TTC and I’m hoping that all of the players can become very good.”

However Slack prefers not to simply have one top player in a club.

“You don’t want one that’s 10 times better than everyone else, you want a whole group that is the same standard and can develop together.”

Lee Bowen, Sanford development coach, contacted Slack in the summer and the new Sanford head coach believes his award has something to do with the appointment.

“Lee approached me at the Burton tournament and he did mention it [the award] was a factor.

“It’s taken a while to sort out because of the funding.”

“Having that award makes the youngsters think he does know what he’s talk about.

“When they know that I’ve produced good players in the past, you get a bit more respect.”

Slack will be continuing his work at Gloucester whilst working at Sanford. Bowen is hoping to increase participation at the club to give Slack more to talent to work with.

“I’m going to be the one who will be there to see who turns up.

“Whether that’ll go any further than Sanford and link into local schools I don’t know.”

The new head coach says he will not be changing too much at club structurally but he believes a change of delivery could benefit the club’s younger members.

“I went along last week for the first time,” added Slack.

“I was observing mostly but at the end of the session I made a couple of suggestions and you could see the concentration go up as the kids tried new things.”

One area Slack would like to improve upon is participation from girls though this doesn’t just apply to Sanford.

“It’s always vital to try and attract girls to the sport, Wales are very good at it, England is not so good.

“That said it’s a secondary aim, the main one is to get whoever is there up to being as good as they can be, whether that’s boys or girls.”

Slack replaces long-time head coach Ernie Howell who has stepped down from the role having passed his 80th birthday.

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