Water Polo Australia is pleased to announce the appointments of five Australian junior men’s and women’s head coaching positions.
The Australian junior teams form an important part in the player pathway, preparing junior players for opportunities to play in the Aussie Sharks or Aussie Stingers.
The programs will provide the junior players with knowledge and practical skills to meet the demands of playing competitive water polo in Europe.
As part of each program, head coaches and their support staff will be ensuring all player’s skills and ability levels improve, with added motivation to potentially claim medals at major international tournaments.
Key dates and events for each program are still being confirmed and will be made publicly available once finalised.
Congratulations to the following coaches on their appointments.
Andrew Yanitsas – Men’s Born 1999 head coach
Assistant coach for the 2012 London Olympic Games men’s team, former UNSW Wests Killer Whales head coach and current UNSWS Wests Magpies head coach, Andrew is well regarded in Australian water polo and is currently the Born 2000 head coach training to perform in this year’s Youth World Championship at Hungary.
For the past 11 years, Andrew has been coaching water polo at the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS). Throughout his coaching positions at a junior and senior level, Andrew has attained a clear understanding of the domestic and international landscape of water polo.
Georgina Kovacs – Women’s Born 1999 head coach
Georgina is currently based in Western Australia and has been the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) women’s water polo head coach since 2013 and has been the Born 1997 assistant coach from 2016-17.
During this period, Georgina has been able to effectively plan, manage and coordinate high-performance programs through her deep understanding of the national elite sporting network, and prepare players for national team selections.
John Fox – Men’s Born 2002 head coach
John was appointed Aussie Sharks head coach in 2007 and remained in that role for just over five years where he took the side to seventh position at the 2012 London Olympics.
In 2004, John was appointed Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) water polo assistant coach and in 2005 was elevated to the AIS water polo head coach position.
As a dual Olympian himself (1988, 1992) he will bring to the role more than 30 years of coaching experience in a variety of environments.
Rebecca Rippon – Women’s Born 2002 head coach
Rebecca is currently in her fourth season as ACU Cronulla Sharks women’s head coach and takes on this role with significant coaching experience after previously being appointed assistant coach of the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) women’s and men’s programs.
Rebecca has previously been assistant coach for the Born 1998 women’s team from 2014-2016 and head coach of the Australian University Games team in 2017.
A dual Olympian who was part of the 2008 Beijing bronze medal team and her appointment as Aussie Stingers captain in 2005, Rebecca has a deep understanding for how an elite athlete must operate to perform at a high level and achieve success.
Vedran Cirkovic – Men’s Born 2003 head coach
Vedran has extensive international water polo playing experience after the last nine years participating in competitions in Serbia, Macedonia, Portugal, Japan and Australia.
Presently, Vedran coordinates The Scots College water polo program assisting athletes from years 3-12 prepare for domestic school competition, in addition to providing further development opportunities for students who demonstrated the capacity to compete at a higher level.
For the past two years, Vedran has held the position of Born 1997 assistant coach.