Andy Banks: Plymouth diving has 'bright future', says former coach

Tonia Couch (left) and Andy Banks
Andy Banks (right) had coached Tonia Couch since she was 10 years old

Former Great Britain coach Andy Banks says diving has a "bright future" in Plymouth despite leaving to take a role with the Australian team.

He announced his departure in May after 25 years with the team, which included leading Tom Daley to a world title.

Plymouth has produced Sarah Barrow and Brooke Graddon, but Tonia Couch is now the only senior GB diver based there.

"The city of Plymouth is a massive proponent of diving and it always has been," Banks told BBC Sport.

"Plymouth is always going to have one of the best facilities in the country - there are coaches there that are really good, there's a system there that's really good.

"I think Plymouth can look forward to a bright future."

The focal point of British diving has switched to Leeds, which has provided nine of the 12 divers from the most recent squad, with the remaining two training in London.

Couch, 28, finished a disappointing seventh with partner Lois Toulson in the synchronised 10m World Championship final in Budapest on Sunday.

"At the moment there are no coaches [in Plymouth], so I've just got to go home and figure out what I've got to do with my life and if there are any coaches for me," she said after competing.

British Diving told BBC Sport that the search for Banks' replacement is ongoing, adding: "We're working with Plymouth on the recruitment process to find the right candidate."

'There had been issues'

Banks has joined ex-Leeds coach Adrian Hinchliffe in making the move from the British team to Diving Australia this year, with focus turning towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

He came close to leaving Plymouth in 2014 but turned down an opportunity in Canada after a new funding package was put together for him.

"There had been issues within the British set-up, with some of the arguments that have taken place," added Banks.

"That's been frustrating to a certain extent, but in the main it was really a positive pull from Australia."

Top Stories