Andorra experience

The Under-15 team flew back from Andorra in the early hours of Monday the 8th September after participating in the second edition of the Be Water My Friend waterpolo tournament held between the 3rd and 6th. Nine teams from Spain, three from Italy and one each from England, Scotland, Germany, Croatia  together with Exiles cmpleted the list of the participants. There was also Girls’ Tournament being held concurrently and which attracted eight teams.

The Format

In this year’s edition, seventeen teams were split into three groups of four and another one of five in which our team was pitted against three Spanish teams, Barcelona, Helios and Rubi and a Scottish Selection. The top two teams in each group qualified for the the Knock-Out phase to determine the 1st to the 8th position whilst the nine remaining teams were split in three groups of three and each team played a round robin league to determine the placings in each group. The first placed teams in each group played each other to determine the 9th to the 11th position, the second placed teams played for the 12th to the 14th whilst the last placed teams also played two matches each to determine the final places 15th to the 17th.

Tough Group

There was no doubt that meeting teams of the calibre of Barcelona and Rubi was going to be an uphill task for the youngsters. In fact the first match of the tournament the Barca team piled 16 goals against a solitary one being scored by our boys. On Thursday three matches in a day proved to be gruesome but which started with a fine win against the Scottish Selection (8-0) before a narrow defeat against CN Helios (6-10) and showing  their best performance in the tournament against CN Rubi but still ending empty-handed (3-9). This Spanish team had beaten Barca by four goals in their direct encounter to finish top of the Group.

Consolation Placings

On Friday the team played another Spanish side the CN Donostia and lost 2-6 but the effects of the previous day’s efforts were evident as the team played below its normal level. A (9-1) win over Leosardi Cagliari boosted the team’s chances for an honourable placing between the 12th and 14th place the following day. On Saturday, a low scoring match (2-3) against CN Catalunyna pushed the team one place down whilst a draw (7-7) against SSD Avezzano in the last encounter placed the team in the number 14 berth.

The tournament was eventually won by the strongest and talented side of Mladost from Croatia who in the final hammered the German side LSN 8-1. There were novelties which our team had to get accustomed to like playing without the electronic equipment, no time outs and one referee. The matches were played over two periods of 17 minutes actual time.

Overall the trip was a pleasant experience which all the players must have savored and will no doubt remember.

Coach Gordon Zammit made use of all the 19 players who made the trip and had to cope with the usual factors that condition the performance of every team participating in these sporting manifestations.

Photo shows the team wearing their medals in a relaxed mood in the centre of Andorra after the final presentation at the Pool where the tournament was organized








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