Tamworth water polo players making a splash

Young talent time: Tamworth water polo players have achieved a range of representative distinctions over the season. Photo: Peter Hardin
Young talent time: Tamworth water polo players have achieved a range of representative distinctions over the season. Photo: Peter Hardin

The weather might be cooling down but things are heating up on the representative front for Tamworth Water Polo’s talented youngsters.

Over Easter the U14s boys and girls sides contested the National club Championships, where they acquitted themselves well matching up against teams from around the country.

Playing at the Gold Coast, the girls notched wins over the Gold Coast Dolphins and Brisbane Barracudas, and drew 7-all with Queensland Country, while down in Albury the boys finished fourth in their Shield pool.

Missing four or five of their regulars, they joined forces with players from Alstonville, Wagga Wagga and Coffs Harbour to form a composite side, and understandably took a little while to gel.

Towards the end of the tournament though they were playing some top water polo, winning three of their last five games.

They beat NYP Dragons 9-7 on Friday and followed up with wins over Drummoyne Devils Black (9-5) and Richmond Tigers (5-nil) on Saturday before finishing their campaign with a credible 12-7 loss to eventual division winners Melville.

Ned Hoath and Joe Mitchell were both prominent for them over the tournament bagging 10 goals apiece.

Girls coach Sean Hofman said his young side punched above their weight. They only had three top age girls. The rest were 12-year olds.

“They took a little while to get into the tournament but once they did they gave a good account of themselves. They scored some good girls and did some really good things in the water,” he said.

Mitchell, Dakota Barnett-Suey and Bianca Watson will be back in the water this weekend for the Talented Athlete Camp as part of the U14 Water Polo NSW state squad. Taggart twins Ryan and Chris will join them at the development camp, which will run from Saturday through to Monday.

Lucy Hofman, Mikayla Gross, Harriet Lyden, Billie Mitchell (Born 02 squad) and Giaan White, Lara Taggart, Tahlia Stuart (Born 01 squad) attended the 16s camp earlier this month.

The camp for the 18s squad which Chelsea Lehman (girls) and Jake Mitchell (boys) are part of will be held on May 6 and 7.

The Australian Country Championships are also being staged in May, in Hobart.

Tamworth will have a strong representation in the NSW Country sides competing at the championships, with Mitch Salter playing for the Blues mens side and Reece Rowbottom and Patrick Hofman the Waratahs.

Giaan White will meanwhile take to the water for the Blues women, and Libby Magann and Katie Salter the Waratahs. Tamworth will also have a presence on pool deck with Ross White managing the Waratahs mens side and Gail Salter the two womens sides.

Giaan White and Patrick Hofman are both in for a jetsetting couple of months.

In the July school holidays they’ll head to the United States with the Combined High Schools U17s. 

White and Lucy Hofman will play for the girls side and Hofman, Isaac Moxon and Lachlan Wheeler the boys.