By Mike Rowbottom

Steve Williams_4_JulyJuly 6 - Steve Williams, the double Olympic rowing gold medallist, will be helping to improve the fitness of Ipswich Town players next season as they push for a place in the English Premier League.

Williams (pictured top, second left) – who won gold in the coxless fours in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he rowed with Sir Matthew Pinsent, and in the 2008 Beijing Olympics – is joining the backroom staff at lpswich, who finished 15th in last season's Championship. 

The club's chief executive is Simon Clegg, the former Chef de Mission of Team GB, including at Beijing when Britain won a record 47 medals, including 19 gold. 

Williams has taken on a consultancy role that will see him work closely with the Ipswich fitness coach Andy Liddell on the fitness development and match preparation of the players.

Williams retired from rowing in 2010 and last year joined former Wales rugby union international Richard Parks in reaching the summit of Mount Everest.

"The stats showed we were among the fittest sides in the Championship last season but it's important to explore every new angle of fitness and match preparation," said Ipswich manager Paul Jewell.

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"Steve will work with individuals as well as the squad in general, and brings with him a wealth of knowledge of competitive sport and what it takes to get to the very top.

"Having met Steve you can quickly see that he's highly motivated and I'm delighted he will be working with us.

"He will bring new ideas and I'm sure he will have a positive influence on the squad."

Williams, who was awarded the OBE in 2009, added: "I'm really looking forward to working with the staff at Ipswich Town.

"There are many components in sport to getting individuals and a team in the best condition, and I'm confident the experiences I have had in my career can be used as an asset to this football club."

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