SAM Woodward has been appointed to succeed Graham Bassi as head coach of Bournemouth Dolphins.

The 26-year-old has been acting head coach since his predecessor’s departure two months ago.

Dolphins’ chairman Adam McCormack said: “Over the last few weeks Sam has proved he is ready and willing to step into the position of head coach.

“Bournemouth Dolphins have gone through many changes in the last few years, hitting many highs and a few lows.

“The committee feel Sam can offer stability, build on the successes the club has worked hard to achieve and, as a ‘whole club’ coach, ensure that all our swimmers can reach their full potential whether it is an Olympic goal or to compete in local competitions.”

Woodward, who was head coach of Fareham Nomads before joining Dolphins as Bassi’s assistant coach, said: “I’m delighted they have made my position permanent and really excited about the opportunity I now have and the opportunities I can give to the swimmers.

“I am already drawing on my experience at Fareham and everything I have learnt from Graham.”

Woodward is one of the driving forces of the Bournemouth-Ferndown Otters merger plans.