Simon Andren never used to buy in to the idea of ambiguous cosmic forces, like karma or fate.
But over the last few weeks, a series of events have taken place which have felt a little too serendipitous to be coincidence for the Gunnedah product.
After two years spent coaching the swimming team at the Loreto Normanhurst school in Sydney, Andren was burnt out.
The former 360 Scully Park coach needed to be closer to home, even if only for a few weeks.
"I finished up with my job in Sydney, and I was between jobs," Andren said.
"I knew that Nicolas [Monet, former Tamworth City Swimming Club coach] had left, so I rang the president and said 'I'm happy to help out until your new coach turns up'."
He returned to Tamworth thinking he would assist the Tamworth City swimmers for two months at most. But when the club's prospective coach ended up declining the role, it was offered to Andren instead.
"I've never been a real believer in omens or karma, but the older I get, you sort of think 'There's a reason for these things'," he said.
In coming back to the region where he spent his childhood, Andren realised that it was exactly where he needed to be.
In Tamworth, he was closer to his mother, Deirdre, who is in her 80s and lives alone in Gunnedah.
And many of the kids he will now coach at Tamworth City were former students of his at Scully Park.
"So that relationship that I had with a lot of the senior kids was pretty strong to start with," Andren said.
"It was nice coming back to help them out."
Andren was complimentary of the work done by Monet during his years with the club, which wrought swathes of medals and titles for the swimmers.
Much of the local swimmers' success, he said, is a result of the hard work put in by their coaches.
"For the size of the area, what we can produce here is quite an achievement," Andren said.
"Seeing the steps that Nic had put into the kids, the hard training and that, you knew it was going to be easy to get back to that level having had him here for so long."
While Andren's wife, Anne-Marie, is still living and working in Sydney, even the newly-introduced distance between them "works out well", he said.
"Our three youngest children are in Newcastle now, two are studying and one's working," he said.
"So she can help them out, or they can go visit her."
And while the Andrens hope to be reunited before long, Simon will eagerly delve into his new role with the swimming club in the meantime.
"I am excited," he said.
"It's nice being back, and having those kids being [eager to work with me]."
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