THE sheer quality of talent continuing to emerge from his home state was the deciding factor in former madison world champion Matthew Gilmore's decision to return as head cycling coach of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.
The Sydney Olympic silver medallist returned to his former workplace at the Silverdome yesterday thrilled to be back in charge of a program which has produced the likes of Alex Clements and Campbell Flakemore, with Gerald Evans, Oliver Martin and Sam Maney hot on their heels.
``I'm really excited to be back,'' he said.
``When the opportunity came up I realised how much I'd missed hands-on coaching with athletes and it was something I wanted to get back into.
``Everything I did with Cycling Australia was camps-based. The likes of Netty Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea were racing in pro teams so I was not really influencing their daily training environment much.
``I want to be involved in setting up cultures and good places for athletes and coaches to be in. I'm just slotting back into where I was before.''
Gilmore will retain his involvement with the national program and said being head coach of the state institute system puts him in an advantageous position for his Tasmanian charges.
The 41-year-old father-of-two was full of praise for his predecessor Gene Bates, who has also taken up a national position with the GreenEDGE program, and long-time assistant coach Ron Bryan.
``Tasmania has always batted above where it should be in terms of the percentage of riders delivered to the national program and that's what really attracted me to put my hand up again,'' he said.
``There are really healthy numbers coming through the under-17s and under-19s which is something that was probably lacking a few years ago.
``But now we're really starting to see the fruits of Ron's emerging talent squad.
``It takes a long time to develop a high-performance athlete and Gene has done a fantastic job to filter them through the development program. It's now my job to get them up to national standard.''
TIS director Paul Austen said Gilmore's reappointment was an excellent result for the institute.
``Matt has developed his coaching expertise nationally and internationally and to have him working with our athletes again is a tremendous advantage,'' he said.