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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 May 2006, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
LTA boss will not seek quick fix
New LTA chief executive Roger Draper
Draper wants to reorganise the structure of the LTA over time
Lawn Tennis Association chief Roger Draper says he will not rush into finding a new performance director.

Draper, who has been in charge since April, sacked David Felgate on Tuesday but hinted it could be much later in 2006 before he appoints a successor.

"It will probably be the autumn before we get our structure right," Draper told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek.

"Appointing someone will not affect British players at Wimbledon or July's Davis Cup tie, so we'll take our time."

Former Davis Cup captain David Lloyd has already told BBC Sport he wants to be seriously considered for the vacant performance director's role.

But Draper is resisting the temptation to pile the responsibility for carving out a real future for British tennis on one person's shoulders.

I don't think there is one person that can come in and wave a magic wand
LTA chief Roger Draper

"We want as many people involved as we can," he said. "We have to get the right team, the right people in the right roles.

"I don't think there is one person that can come in and wave a magic wand, sprinkle some fairy dust and improve the performance of our players.

"Coaching is one issue, leading, communicating and organising is something entirely different.

"There are lots of people who would want the job but if we get this right then we can all be heroes."

Draper, who left his role as chief executive of Sport England to join the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), is planning a major overall at the LTA's Queen's Club headquarters which will reap long-term benefits.

With only three British players - men or women - inside the world's top 100, the 36-year-old says his priority will be focusing on training youngsters, rather than finding a quick-fix solution.

"We have to make sure we don't put a sticking plaster over things," he said.

Britain's Greg Rusedski (left) and Tim Henman
Rusedski and Henman are nearing the end of their playing careers

"There are a lot of youngsters coming through and that is why we are focusing our attentions on the 10-14 year olds.

"We have the talent and now we have to harness and nurture it."

Part of Draper's plans to build on that potential is to make sure experienced players like Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski are involved at some level.

"Tim and Greg have got a key role to play in driving British tennis forward when they retire," said Draper.

"They will come on board and drive the team but we've got to find the right roles for them.

"John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Jimmy Connors have worked with some of our players and they also have roles to play.

"But we are looking at stabilising our ship first and making sure we get the right long-term appointments in place."

There is a chance to put your questions to Roger Draper in a special Sport on Five programme on BBC Radio Five Live, next Tuesday 23 May from 1900 BST.

SEE ALSO
Lloyd keen to land key LTA post
17 May 06 |  Tennis
What next for British tennis?
18 May 06 |  Tennis


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