TAMWORTH water polo talent is set to invade New Zealand in strong – and record – numbers. About half a dozen local players are figuring in the various representative sides competing in the Pan Pacific Games tournaments being played in Auckland over the next couple of weeks.
Katie Robinson, Morgan Rowbottom, Max Colby, Molly Lyden, Kate Farquar, Mitch Salter, Jack Mihell, Paddy O’Brien, Nathan Pyne, Laarn White, Laura Robinson and Emily Grellman will all be hitting the water either for Australia, NSW, NSW Country or Sydney Uni.
Josh Magann and Ross White are also headed across the ditch in coaching/manager roles.
Grellman heads the contingent and will play for the Australian Born 1996 squad in the U20s competition from June 29 to July 4, and in a three-test series against New Zealand.
She was unavailable for last week’s photo shoot at The Leader as she was receiving her Australian uniform.
For the Robinsons it will be a family affair with Laura part of the NSW U18 Waratahs team that will play in the U18s Pan Pacs the following week, while younger sister Katie was selected for the Combined High Schools U15 side.
They’ll play in the U16s competition in the first week.
Rowbottom, Lyden and Farquar’s teams are also entered in the U16s.
Lyden and Farquar are playing with the NSW U16 Country team and Rowbottom the NSW U16s Blues.
Former Tamworth girls Marlee Byrnes and Phillipa Patterson are also in that side, which is being coached by former Oxley High teacher Brett Arnold.
Colby is going away with the U16 boys Waratah side while Salter, Mihell and O’Brien are in the NSW Country U16 team.
Magann is their coach and Olympian Dan Marsden their
Salter is then staying on to play with the City/Country Barbarians in the U18s division.
The team is made up of players from the NSW U16 Blues, Waratahs and Country teams.
Pyne and White will also play in the U16s with the Sydney Uni Pirates team, which is a combined team of NSW boys that showed potential and Ross White is their assistant coach.
The Pan Pacs are held every two years in New Zealand and will also involve teams from America, Queensland, Canberra and Melbourne.
Mihell, Laura Robinson and O’Brien all went away to the last tournament with O’Brien a sub for the Country U17s side, and Robinson playing for the CHS U15s girls and Mihell the boys.
“It was awesome,” Mihell said.
“It was good competition and good for furthering our skills.”
“There were a lot of tough teams over there.”
At the same time as they’re all over in New Zealand Harry Mihell will be in Melbourne with the NSW U14 boys team playing in the East Coast