Fresh off their recent training tour, the Born 1998 Men’s water polo team will compete against the world’s best at the 2016 FINA World Men’s Youth Water Polo Championships in Podgorica, Montenegro.
Practice games against Croatia, Italy & Hungary brought mixed results for the side, with one win from their three games.
Despite two losses, the Aussies demonstrated some powerful individual performances, giving them a positive heading into the World Championships.
Head coach, Andrais Kovalenko said that the team has developed a solid training platform and are building nicely towards the required intensity to perform at the top level.
“Our training is solid and we have had some very competitive outcomes in our training games,” Kovalenko said.
“This is the first tournament the team has played internationally in 12 months, in the heat of battle there is a different intensity and resolve required.”
Kovalenko expressed the positives the team could take from the 23-14 loss to Croatia.
“As we build our fitness and gamesmanship, I hope to see a more consistent performance across the whole game.”
The team secured their first win (11-8) against a fighting Italian side, being the stronger side for ¾ of the game.
“The final quarter saw some good resolve by the boys not letting a very energized Italian team come over the top of us.
“The aim for now is to build and improve each game leading into Worlds, our extra man defence was really positive.”
Despite a strong showing in the first two games, the Aussies were unable to defeat their training hosts, Hungary in the final clash, losing 15-9.
“The result did not reflect how the boys played, we still had a big extra man count against us and this will always make it difficult.
“I think we are competitive in various levels now we need to bring these aspects together.”
After final camps in Greece and Montenegro, the team will now head to the FINA World Men’s Youth Water Polo Championships, where they face their first opponent Spain on Friday 26 August.
YWC Group Game Fixtures & Results:
Result: Australia 10 def Spain 8
Quarters: 3:2, 3:2, 2:4, 1:1
AUS scorers: K Marsden 1, N Elphic 1, T Putt 3, L Vos 1, L Mackaway 1, J Thompson 1, C Poot 2
Result: Australia 14 def Japan 13
Quarters: 1:3, 5:4, 4:1, 5:4
AUS scorers: K Marsden 1, N Elphic 6, T Putt 1, J Thompson 2, C Poot 2, C Negus 2
Date: Monday 29 August 7:40pm (3:40am Tuesday 30 August AEDT)
Opponent: South Africa
Date: Tuesday 30 August 11:40am (7:40pm AEDT)