SWIM Bournemouth’s newly-appointed head coach Matt Heathcock says he is relishing the challenge of making the club a major competitive force after he has taken the helm in November.

Heathcock, 35, told the Daily Echo: “Swim Bournemouth has a great catchment area and some fantastic swimmers have come out of the programme in the past who have gone on to become senior internationals.

“They have some good young swimmers coming through and I want to use my experience to move the club forward.

“There is definitely room to grow and there are great opportunities for the swimmers, the staff and the area.

“What has impressed me most is the great bunch of volunteers that Bournemouth has.

“The performance pathway is something that everyone seems to be on the same page about, which is exciting.

“My aim is to make Swim Bournemouth the best it can be – an attractive club that people want to come to and to compete on those terms.”

Swim Bournemouth will be Heathcock’s third head coach role after seven years in charge at Windsor and the past three years at Camden Swiss Cottage, which has a membership of thousands and a £1.5m turnover.

He led Windsor to two Arena League national finals while both clubs have had numerous national medallists.

He has also been Britain’s head coach at several open water World and European Championships.

The son of Ealing and former Southampton head coach Dave Heathcock said there were personal as well as professional reasons why he was trading London’s second biggest club for Swim Bournemouth.

“Things have been going really well at Camden but my heart has always been in this area,” he said.

“I was brought up in Southampton, my family used to have a beach hut at Mudeford and my best friend still has one there.

“I’ve always desperately wanted to come back to the south coast and now I also have a baby girl who lives in Southampton.”

Heathcock, who is currently working his notice in Camden, will succeed Emma Richards, whose contract has not been renewed.

Club chairman Paul McGregor said: “It’s no secret that Swim Bournemouth has had a rocky few years and a number of changes.

“We were in a position where we could look at our coaching situation and decided whether it was relevant to have a change.

“Matt was one of three coaches who contacted us after hearing there was a vacancy.

“His credentials show he is able to get the best out of a club. He has done that with Windsor and Camden.

“He sees Swim Bournemouth as something to get his teeth into and an opportunity to put Dorset swimming on the map.

“We’re all are very excited about this appointment.”

Heathcock’s first meet after his arrival on November 6 will be the second round of the National Arena League West.

His role will include coaching the performance squad while assistant coach Sam Woodward will continue to coach the regional, county and junior squads.