By Steven Selthoffer, Swimming World European columnist
KASSEL, Germany, December 14. IT was confirmed today by the German Swimming Federation DSV that Henning Lambertz has been officially named the new national head coach for the German team after signing the contract earlier this afternoon in Istanbul, Turkey, at the FINA Short Course World Championships.
The contract comes into effect January 1 through the 2016 Olympic cycle.
Good News for Germany
This brought a huge sigh of relief to past and current athletes of the DSV who have withered under the strain of the leadership turmoil at headquarters. Lambertz is the athletes' choice, and it has finally become clear to the DSV that they need someone with a proven track record who can get results, no matter what the conditions. Lambertz won't have it easy. He has to run damage control from years of neglect and the internal problems.
Next, he will roll out his plan for turning the organization around and nurturing the talent that he has been dealt.
Lambertz will now be working overtime this Christmas season to analyze the situation, touch base with all the coaches in Germany, re-establish old relationships abroad and form a new staff. One thing they won't be able to do to Lambertz like they've done to others is to play politics against him. Lambertz is immune. He knows how to block out the noise and to keep his concentration on what is important.
He's developed world-class talent in the past and he knows he can do it again. Lambertz is a team player. Look to Germany getting stronger in the relays first, then in individual finals at Euros and following in Rio 2016.
The Lambertz Era
Don't expect any unrealistic, high expectations or any hyped goals. Lambertz is a realist. He knows he has a long way to go to rebuild what has been damaged. Lambertz is a strong, anti-doping advocate and his athletes have been 100 percent clean over the years. There will be no lapses in judgement or compromises tolerated when he is on the deck.
There is good news in Germany. The Lambertz era has begun.