Acid test first-up for North West at titles

NORTH West faces a State CHS Boys’ Water Polo Championship first-day litmus test at Albury today.

The Sam Doust-managed side has drawn two of last year’s semi-finalists first-up.

Hunter and Sydney North finished second and third respectively last year and are expected to be contenders again.

North West hope to be too.

“I’d like to improve on last year,” Doust said.

“We finished equal fourth after the rounds. On points (goals) for and against we were fifth.”

She has a side not too different from last year’s.

“We’ve got four boys in it this year who were not in it last year,” she said.

It’s a side that should do well.

“The ones from last year have got a bit stronger and quicker in the pool,” Doust said.

Tamworth High players make up almost half of the side. Among them is NSW CHS U16s rep from last year Sam Crelley.

Peel’s Ryan Parker also made that side and will hold the fort at the back in goals. 

Most of the side are part of either the U16s or older Tamworth rep sides and have a bit of water polo under their belts.

As as side they’ve been training together since the start of term.

“Especially their fitness has improved over the six weeks, as well as their working together as a team,” Doust said.

“And some of the drills have come together.”

They had a final hit-out last Thursday.

“They went well. I was quite impressed,” she said.

She said a quick turnaround in attack and defence would be a key to them doing well.

“The main thing we need to do is make sure we’ve got a fast reaction time and are consistently reading the game and thinking about what’s happening ahead,” she said.

NORTH WEST: Jay Neville, Sam Crelley, Josh Lewis, Nathan Pyne, Jackson Crelley (Tamworth High), Laarn White, Harrison Swan, Josh Nugent (Farrer), Max Colby, Jackson Sharpe (Oxley), Ryan Paker (Peel).

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