NORTHWICH’S Olympic hero Matthew Langridge is enjoying home comforts and a familiar figure is back by his side.
Paul Rafferty was Langridge’s coach and mentor during his junior years and has kept in touch with the silver medallist while he was living and training at Henley.
Now Langridge has returned to Northwich, Rafferty is back to oversee the 25-year-old’s training programme ahead of the final Great Britain team trials in April.
And despite Langridge being an Olympic medallist, the former Hartford High School pupil says that will count for nothing.
“It doesn’t matter that I medalled in Beijing,” he said. “You still have to prove that you are in form and the trials in April is when all the boats are decided.
“Paul had kept in touch with me and has helped me out now and again at Henley. Now I am back we’re putting together a training programme and we will be increasing the number of sessions I do each day on the water.”
Langridge has swapped the hustle and bustle of affluent Henley-on-Thames for the quiet banks of the River Weaver in his home town.
“That’s why I have come back really,” he said. “It’s great to get away and just concentrate on what you’re doing. Sometimes you have to find your own motivation to train as there is often only me and Paul out here but the water up north is certainly better than down south.
“I’ve heard that it’s flooded down at Henley whereas up here there is hardly a ripple on the water. I am really enjoying being back.”
Langridge will compete for the first time since the Olympics at a trials event next month in Boston, Lincolnshire.