AFTER testing themselves against the best from the Country, Tamworth’s U18 water polo players will make their way back down to Sydney this weekend, this time to take on the best in the state.
The State Championships will pit Tamworth’s boys and girls against the likes of Sydney heavyweights Balmain, Drummoyne and Cronulla, Sydney Uni, Sydney Northern Beaches and the Hunter Hurricanes.
ACT have also entered a women’s side, although they are in the opposite pool to Tamworth.
They’ve been drawn in Pool B alongside Balmain, Cronulla Blue, Drummoyne Black, Hunter Blue and Sydney Uni.
It will be a challenging weekend, but coach Ross White is confident they’ll give a good account of themselves.
Most of the side played in the Country Championships two weeks ago, either with the 16s or the opens.
The open side was pretty much the 18s bar a couple of older players.
Unfortunately they have lost a few players since then due to different circumstances, but have picked up a few handy recruits in the draft.
White highlighted communication as one of the things they need to work on from two weeks ago.
“We’ll be playing teams that play together all the time,” he said.
“We get together one weekend of the year.”
He also pointed out that the majority of the players in the sides they’ll be coming up against play National League.
The Hurricanes for example have six, he said.
Usually Tamworth misses out there. But this year they have two National League players with Emily Grellman and Morgan Rowbottom playing a few games for the
Their experience will be invaluable, White said. They know the level they need to be playing at to be competitive.
He also mentioned “having the confidence to have the shot when it’s there, and the strength in their legs” as being key things.
“They won’t get cheap fouls. They’ve got to work for it,” he said.
Equally defence will be a big focus this weeekend.
The attack will come, but they’ve got to get their defence right.
They can’t afford either to get caught up in a swimming game.
While they have got “two or three very quick swimmers”, across the board they probably don’t have the swimmers the sides they’re playing do.
Cronulla first-up tomorrow will be a good test.
“It’ll let me know how we’re going to go,” White said.
They’ll have another game tomorrow, two on Saturday and one on Sunday.