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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Upbeat Connor shrugs off UKA snub
By Simon Austin

Keith Connor
Connor went through three seperate interviews
Keith Connor is refusing to criticise UK Athletics despite being overlooked as its new performance director.

Connor looked set to land the job last week after his main rival, Charles van Commenee, dropped out of the running.

Yet after an exhaustive selection process involving three interviews, UK Athletics decided Connor was not suitable for the job.

"They decided I wasn't the right person for the job and that's their decision," Connor told BBC Sport.

"I love the sport, so I don't want to create a furore for UK Athletics.

"There may be issues that people want to raise about this process, but I don't want to get involved in that."

Connor, who is the head of Australian athletics, had looked the favourite to succeed Max Jones, who will step down from his post in December.

But David Moorcroft, the chief executive of UK Athletics, says he is now prepared to wait until after the 2008 Olympics to find a replacement.

I applied for the job because I was asked to
Keith Connor
UK Athletics drew up a shortlist of candidates several months ago.

This started off a lengthy process for Connor - only for him to be snubbed when he had gone through it and seemed to have come out on top.

"The job was advertised in the UK before the Olympic Games. I didn't apply for it at that point because I was working for the Australian team and didn't think it was appropriate," Connor said.

"After the Games I spoke to some people. I went through an initial interview with the head-hunting company.

"Then I went through another interview and presentation with the other five people who were shortlisted.

"Then they brought we over when it was whittled down to two, which became one."

Connor still does not know if he would have taken the job, even if he was offered it.

"I looked into the job because I was asked to and I didn't get to the point where I was asked to make a decision," Connor said.

He has lived in Australia with his family for several years and his son is about to sit the equivalent of A-Levels.

UK Athletics chief David Moorcroft
Moorcroft: Willing to wait until after 2008 Olympics
Australian athletics is also restructuring and a new job of performance director could be created, which Connor would be likely to apply for.

Moorcroft says he now has three people in mind for the top job in British athletics - none of whom were on the initial shortlist.

That means Connor and former Olympic decathlon gold medallist Daley Thompson are definitely out of the running.

Moorcroft said he was looking for a "Clive Woodward type" director who could change the culture of athletics in the UK.

He might also consider someone from the business world with a sporting background.




SEE ALSO
Elliott in plea to Connor
14 Oct 04  |  Athletics
UK Athletics set to name new boss
13 Oct 04  |  Athletics



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