Born 2002 Head Coach John Fox provides program update

In April, Water Polo Australia unveiled the new coaching appointments for the Australian Junior Teams. The role of Junior Team Head Coaches play an important part in the player pathway and preparing junior players for opportunities to represent Australia in the future.

Water Polo Australia is catching up with all the Coaches over the next few months to get an update on the programs and updates. First up, is Born 2002 Men’s Coach John Fox.


Olympian and former Head Coach of the Aussies Sharks for five years, John Fox brings to the role a wealth of experience and knowledge to help the next generation of water polo players. Having held roles as a national men’s coach as well as Australian Institute of Sport water polo Head Coach, he has more than 30 years’ experience in the sport. caught up with John to find out the latest for the Born 2002 Men’s Program.

How did you feel about your appointment to the role? And what have you been up to since the announcement?

I am privileged to be appointed the coach of the Australian Men’s Born 2002 & Under squad and I am looking forward to the challenge of preparing the Team for the World Championships in 2020.

My first steps have been to liaise with Dmitri Gorshkov, who coached this age group last year and review his feedback and training recommendations for the players from this tour.

I have been following up on this information and making contact with the States and Clubs coaches to find to look at which athletes are training and committed to take on the responsibilities that come with representing Australia.

When will squads be selected and what is coming up?

Those players who did not tour last year will not be disadvantaged. The plan is to select a fresh squad based upon performances at upcoming and recent National Championships. Additionally we will be taking into account individuals’ coaches feedback.

There have been some questions asked about the Pan Pacs being held in July 2018 but we can confirm that Water Polo Australia will not be sending a team to play these Championships, given the timing of the event. Some players had also committed to state and club teams attending the championships, so the decision was made not to contest these Championships.

What priorities have been set for the Born 2002 Men’s Program?

  • A new/updated B2002 squad will be selected after the National Age Championships that will be conducted in Perth with a probable training 3-4 days camp to follow immediately after the competition. This is to be confirmed.
  • We had the chance to look at prospective players at upcoming schoolboys champs in Perth. There is no concern if players did not attend these Championships as over the course of the next few months we will be attempting to see players in this age group competing in various competitions.
  • We will be speaking to State and Club coaches to ensure those players who toured last year have been responsible in following up on feedback provided by Dmitry last year. Additions (or possible omissions) to the squad will be considered upon performance at National Age Championships and coaches recommendations based upon training reviews.
  • Squad players will be expected to compete at the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships (AYWPC) in Brisbane in January 2019, where ongoing updates will be made assessed upon performances.
  • A competition/training camp schedule for 2019 and beyond will be negotiated in consultation with Water Polo Australia, which will most likely include an overseas tour in July 2019.
  • Given the age of the players, school attendance is an important factor and where possible any training or competition will make use of school holiday time.

Final thoughts…

I am looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to once again work with the Water Polo Australia national program and assisting all players to achieve their potential and best possible outcome in international performances.

I look forward to meeting all the players and working towards the World Championships in 2020.