The #1 Post – What a year it´s been!

(04.01.2016) – What a year it’s been…in fact what a big past few months we have had since the 2015 World Championships!

The Aussie Sharks have just wrapped up their Test Series with Italy, including another stunning Water Polo by the Sea event which was on the back of a Test Series vs Japan in November. The team under Coach Fatovic is looking to maximise the international competition as we head towards Rio, some 215 odd days away.

The Aussie Stingers have been in solid training since September under the guidance of Greg McFadden, including a Test Series vs Japan on home soil followed by a successful trip to Rio and the USA, claiming multiple wins against the current World Champions and bringing home Gold from the Rio test event.

Throw in the start of the 2015/16 National League season, women’s Tokyo Development Tour and junior state and national camps around the corner to kick off 2016, and fair to say our national players have got a jump on next year’s international season.

Water Polo Australia also held a ´Rio 2016 Family and Friends´ event, in conjunction with the AOC’s ASPIRE initiative designed to inform and prepare our prospective athletes, coaches and support staff for the Games. It was an outstanding success with over 30 family and friends representing 23 athletes turning out and building on the ´one team´ philosophy. It is our intention to keep the momentum going into the new year as the Games draw closer.

Away from the pool and our national teams is where some big movement has occurred, as well with numerous stakeholder engagement and planning workshops held to map out where we head into the future, both in the lead up to and, more poignantly, post-Rio 2016 towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond. WPA has worked closely with the AIS, State Institute and Academies of Sport as well as our State Associations to define what our vision for the future will be, and the key performance and strategic shifts required to become the best water polo nation in the world.

As we head into 2016 we will continue the consultation and discussions with stakeholders to come up with a solidified plan for implementation and leverage partnerships to increase investment and resources for the sport and HP program. I have mentioned in the #1 Post previously that change is coming, and while we have made some changes in the past 12 months, more will be required to align our collective efforts in the pursuit of excellence.

One key area of focus will be on coaching and ensuring we have the best quality coaches working down the pathway impacting on our junior development. On this note I’d like to announce and congratulate the respective national junior coaches recently appointed for 2016;


  • B97 – Head Coach – Tim Hamill and Assistant Coach – Vedran Cirkovic
  • B98 – Head Coach – Andrei Kovalenko and Assistant Coach Matt Turnbull
  • B00 – Head Coach – Andrew Yanitsas and Assistant Coach – Andras Jo Kovacs
  • B01 – Head Coach – Dmitry Gorshkov and Assistant Coach – Damian Kelly
  • B99/00 – Head Coach – Chris Wybrow and Assistant Coach – TBD


  • B97 – Head Coach – Predrag Mihailovic and Assistant Coach Georgina Kovacs
  • B98 – Head Coach – Predrag Mihailovic and Assistant Coach Bec Rippon
  • B00 – Head Coach – Arjan Vos and Assistant Coach Dusan Damjanovic and another TBD

Thank you to those coaches who expressed an interest, we look forward to engaging you in alternative ways during 2016 as we build our coaching talent pool.

2015 has been fantastic for water polo in this country with many new and exciting developments across many facets. As it draws to a close I’d like to thank our national coaches, support staff and, most importantly, athletes for their efforts and those that encourage and support their love of the game.

Next year is a big one to say the least. It is, on one hand, when four years of blood, sweat, tears and many sacrifices are put on the line at the Rio Olympic Games. On the other, it is just another step in the road of our evolution and progress both domestically and on the world stage.

Wherever your passion lies, we want you with us on the journey so that we can share in the excitement and growth together, because something tells me we are ultimately just fans of the game and the green and gold.

I hope everybody had a great Christmas and New year with family and friends and until next time…be your best!

Tom Hill

Manager, High Performance

Water Polo Australia

About our contributors

Tom Hill

Tom Hill as High Performance Manager has led the WPA High Performance Program since the beginning of 2012. From playing AFL football and coaching junior talent programs to sports administration at state associations, state institutes, universities and national level.  Hill’s experience extends to a variety of stakeholders.  He also has an academic background in Business, Sport Management and Sport Law.

Greg McFadden

Greg McFadden is the National Head Coach of the women’s water polo team, the Aussie Stingers. McFadden has been in charge of the Stingers since 2005 leading the team to Bronze medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, Gold at the 2006 World Cup and Silver at the 2010, 2014 World Cups adding to Silver at the 2013 World Championships. McFadden represented Australia at the 1992 Olympic Games as part of our most successful men’s team which finished fifth.

Elvis Fatovic

Elvis Fatovic is the National Head Coach of the men’s water polo team, The Aussie Sharks. Hailing from Croatia, Fatovic has been in charge of the Sharks since the beginning of 2013 and thus far led the Sharks to their top performances in a decade at the 2013 World Championships and 2014 World Cup. Fatovic is regarded as one of the best left headers in Croatian water polo history, and competed at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. Fatovic won the 2012 Olympic Games Gold medal with Croatia as an assistant coach to Ratko Rudic.