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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
GB captaincy would interest Lloyd
By Simon Austin

John Lloyd
Lloyd says he would bring in a new generation of players
John Lloyd says he is interested in succeeding Jeremy Bates as Britain's Davis Cup captain.

Bates resigned on Monday following the 3-2 defeat by Israel at the weekend.

"The Davis Cup is something I've loved and I'd be an idiot if I wasn't interested. The competition fascinates me," Lloyd told BBC Sport.

"But the bottom line is that no-one's mentioned it to me, and there would be a lot to discuss if they did. The job's changed a lot since I was a player."

The 51-year-old, who was Britain's Davis Cup coach while his brother David was captain from 1995 to 2000, admits he has some reservations about the role.

He said: "How much influence does the captain really have?

I don't know how much Tim listened to us - sometimes I felt my job was to bring the practice balls onto court

John Lloyd

"We didn't have individual coaches who would travel with us when I was playing in the Davis Cup.

"We had a team coach and captain, and what they said, we did. Now all the players have their own coaches with them.

"For example, Tim (Henman) used to have his own coach with him on Davis Cup weekends and that diminished the roles that David and I had a little bit.

"I don't know how much he listened to us. Sometimes I felt like my job was just bringing the practice balls onto the court."

Lloyd says that if he was captain he would bring a new generation of players into the team.

"Let's make no mistake about it, the defeat to Israel marks a new low for Britain in the Davis Cup," he said.

"We have to rebuild and put in some untried younger players alongside Andy Murray.

"The experience could harden them into good Davis Cup performers. It could take two or three years and a few defeats for it to happen, but it would be worth it.

"Jamie Baker and Josh Goodall look like the kind of kids who would be willing to run through a brick wall for the team and should be given a chance. Perhaps we could use Jamie Murray in a doubles role as well."

And Lloyd, who played in the 1978 Davis Cup final defeat by USA, says he would have great reservations about selecting Alex Bogdanovic for the team again.

The 22-year-old was beaten in straight sets by Noam Okun in the opening singles on Friday, despite being ranked 122 places above his opponent.

He was also beaten by Okun when the teams met in Tel Aviv last year and turned down the opportunity to play against Serbia and Montenegro in April because he was not "mentally ready".

Alex Bogdanovic
If I did have some involvement he'd have to spend some serious time with me and convince me he wanted to play

John Lloyd on Alex Bogdanovic

"Alex has not performed well at all," Lloyd, who commentated on last weekend's match for the BBC, said.

"It's not just how he's hit the ball, but the whole presence he brings onto the court.

"His body language was not good and he seemed to accept defeat way too early. He sent everyone in the crowd to sleep.

"When you have someone who has a suspect temperament, you shouldn't assume they will play.

"You need to look the player in the eye and say: 'Do you really want to play this match?'

"I would much rather have someone who might not have the talent, but is willing to run through a brick wall for you.

"To be fair, I haven't spent any time with him, but if I did have some involvement he'd have to spend some serious time with me and convince me he wanted to play.

"There would have to be a lot of proving before I think he could be put in again.

"Never say never, but there would have to be a lot of convincing."


SEE ALSO
Bogdanovic hits back at LTA
19 Apr 04 |  Tennis
Bogdanovic told to shape up
11 Dec 03 |  Tennis


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