Leading U17 water polo players are making final preparations for the start of the men’s and women’s European Games qualification tournaments.
Selected from the England Talent programme and competing as Great Britain, the U17 girls are in Nice where they will face Group A opponents Portugal, the Czech Republic, France and Switzerland. Meanwhile the U17 boys are in Malta where they take on Germany, Latvia Switzerland and Malta in Group D.
Both competitions start today and run until Sunday. The top two teams from each of the Groups will reach the qualification standard for the inaugural European Games in June.
Nick Buller, women’s U17 Coach said: “We had a good warm up tournament in Bratislava last weekend playing in the Slovakia International U17s Women’s Cup.
“It was a great opportunity to finalise our preparations ahead of the qualification tournament. The team played well and we had good wins against France (15-5) and the Czech Republic (17-14), finishing second overall behind Slovakia (8-13).
“Confidence within the team is high and we are looking to repeat our performances against France and the Czech Republic.”
The men’s U19 team is coached by London 2012 Captain Craig Figes. Although untested in international competition, the players are undaunted about playing against the likes of Germany and Malta.
Ian Elliot from the ASA water polo management group said: “The girls and boys respective Head Coaches Nick Buller and Craig Figes, have prepared the teams well and both are looking forward to their respective competitions.
“Qualification for Baku will be tough, but confidence within the teams is high. All of the athletes selected to represent Great Britain are from the England Talent programme for Water Polo which forms the core of our future development pathway.”
All the results from each of the Groups can be seen here: http://www.len.eu/default.aspx#
Women’s Under-17 Group A European Games Qualification Tournament, France
• 12 March: 18:00 Portugal v Great Britain
• 13 March: 10:15 Czech Republic v Great Britain
• 13 March: 19:15 France v Great Britain
• 15 March: 09:00 Switzerland v Great Britain
U17 Squad list:
• Hayley Price - Tyldesley
• Lucy Shaw - City of Liverpool
• Verity McCoy - City of Liverpool
• Danica Brazier - Chelmsford
• Lara Partridge - Crawley
• Beth Ward - Devenport Royal
• Mhairi Nurthen - London Otter
• Isobel Dean - London Otter
• Grace Rowland - City of Liverpool
• Hannah Edwards - Caledonia
• Kathy Rogers - London Otter
• Sophie Jackson - City of Leeds
• Fleur Kennedy - City of Coventry
Men’s Under-17 Group D European Games Qualification Tournament, Malta
• 12 March: 17:00 Germany v Great Britain (Live stream: Click Here)
• 13 March: 09:00 Latvia v Great Britain
• 13 March: 18:15 Great Britain v Switzerland
• 14 March: 18:15 Great Britain v Malta