Team named for men’s U17 European Water Polo Championship Qualifiers

9 Jun 2021

The men’s U17 Great Britain Water Polo team will contest qualifiers in Maribor, Slovenia later in June.

Competing in Group C of the qualification tournament, 15 of Britain’s finest Water Polo junior athletes will contest matches against Russia, Romania, Slovenia and Austria across the 24-27 June, in a bid to claim a spot at the rescheduled Men’s European U17 (Junior) Water Polo Championships, set to be held in Malta this coming September.

Water Polo U17 practice
15 players have been selected for the qualifiers

The event marks the first of the proposed 2021-22 schedule revealed in March, focusing on development of the discipline at an international level. 

Team captain, George Glover commented:

“Despite the difficult circumstances our squad has had to deal with over the last 18 months, we are all eager to showcase the hard work we have all had to commit to inside and outside the pool. I am very excited to be leading the squad in Slovenia and know that the squad are proud to be representing GB."

Together the team have recently spent a week on camp in Walsall, working strategically on defensive and attacking play under the guidance of Head Coach, Claudio Palumbo, and his supporting staff team. Speaking of their preparations and the tournament ahead, Palumbo said:

Water Polo U17 practice outdoor
The squad putting in additional training outside whilst on camp

"I am very satisfied with the work done by the guys who deserve praise for their dedication in this difficult moment. Splitting effort between high-level sports and school commitments after bearing the brunt of the lockdown was not easy, and now the most difficult challenge awaits us. In the upcoming tournament we play opponents that are historically very strong at the youth level, but we will not be caught unprepared and will go out to play with the spirit of the outsider. It will be nice to test the value of our work in the Maribor tournament."

With Team Manager, Terri Halstead concluding:

"After all of the squad’s hard work in lockdown, I am delighted that we will have the opportunity to compete in Slovenia. I am so proud of all of the squad's dedication, discipline and motivation in this incredibly difficult period."

Matches can be watched live from the 24 June via the YouTube playlist HERE

Selected Squad

Joe Ashworth - Bristol

Harry Bentham - Manchester

James Blenkinship - Manchester

Jamie Bond - Worthing

Corran Bradley - South Derbyshire, Sheffield

Frankie Docking-Smith - Bridgefield

Aarav Ganguli - Beckenham

George Glover - Worcester, Cheltenham (Captain)

Max Hubrich - Beckenham, Penguin

Charles Kingsmill - Penguin

Josh Luff - Penguin

Theo Pliner - Penguin

Reuben Powell - Exeter

Andre Savic - Penguin (Vice Captain)

Ben Urquhart - Sheffield

Staff team

Head Coach - Claudio Palumbo

Assistant Coaches - John Halstead, Steve Bond and Dariusz Kadziak

S&C - Callum Benson

Sports Psychologists – Lucy Ballinger and Laura Kiemle-Gabbay

Team Manager - Terri Halstead