Water polo women aim high at World Cup
12 August 2014
WATER POLO: The Australian women’s water polo team, the Aussie Stingers, will this week face off against the world’s best teams when they begin their campaign at the FINA World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
Since the beginning of August, the Stingers have been based in Martfu, Hungary for their pre World Cup training camp, with the majority of their preparation taking place with training games against the Hungarian national team.
While both sides took time to work on their own game, the two highly acclaimed international teams came together each night for a training match that produced tough water polo with tight results.
In the final days leading up to the World Cup the Stingers played an exhibition game against Hungary in the town of Sventes, where despite the loss, the team was able to better gauge where they stood against the strong water polo nation, who will be their competition in the opening game at the World Cup.
Australian coach Greg McFadden said the key goal at the training camp had been to strengthen areas of the Stingers game that were lacking at the FINA World League Super Finals, where the Stingers claimed the bronze medal.
“There were areas of our game that we identified during the World League Finals as requiring improvement,” McFadden said.
“The lead up to the World Cup has allowed us to focus on these key areas, especially with the training games against the Hungarians.”
McFadden further elaborated that he hoped these improvements would hold the Stingers in good stead for a top result, also noting that the Aussies first two games would be a difficult challenge.
“We are hoping for the best result we can manage at the World Cup, and in doing so show the evidence of the areas we have improved on,” he said.
“Our first two games will be tough. The first is against Hungary who have recently won a bronze medal at the European Championships, with the second against the USA who won gold at the World League Finals.”
Although important in its own right, the World Cup is a stepping stone for the Australian’s on the road to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The tournament provides an opportunity for the Aussie girls to stake their claim for a spot in next years World Championships team, and eventually the Olympic side.
Australia’s opening game will be against Hungary on August 12 at 5pm AEST with the USA, and South Africa also in Australia’s preliminary group stage.
Australia defeated Hungary for the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games 13-11.
The team for the World Cup in Russia is:
GK’s: Kelsey Wakefield, QLD, 21, Lilian Hedges, 20, WA
Field Players: Bronwen Knox, 27, QLD (Capt), Rowena Webster, 25, VIC, Isobel Bishop, 22, SA, Ashleigh Southern, 21, QLD, Keesja Gofers, 24, NSW, Zoe Arancini, 22, WA, Jayde Appel, 20, NSW, Morgan Baxter 21, NSW Bronte Colenso, 20, QLD, Hannah Buckling, 22, NSW, Glencora McGhie 26, WA
Coaching Staff: Greg McFadden (Head Coach), Dalibor Maslan and Predrag Mihailovic (Assistant Coaches), Lynne Morrison (Manager), Liz Steet (Physio), Kirsten Peterson (Psychology)
Water Polo Australia