Tuesday, May 12, 2015

British water polo team counts down to Baku

"I think back to the first time I went to trial for GB, there was always talk about the games but I never thought I would be part of it or to get this far in water polo." Hannah Edwards

With just one month to go until the start of the Baku 2015 European Games the excitement is building within the Great Britain’s Under-17 water polo squad.

After dramatically securing a Games spot in April, thanks to a second-place finish in Nice, the squad have been working tirelessly as they aim to make an impact in Azerbaijan.

Among the squad is Scot, Hannah Edwards, who can’t wait to get going to Baku. She said,

“I'm so excited for the Games. I’ve been looking at pictures and videos and Baku looks amazing.

“Everyone on the team has worked so hard for this. I think back to the first time I went to trial for GB, there was always talk about the games but I never thought I would be part of it or to get this far in water polo. It’s so amazing and I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”

And now Coach Nick Buller and his players face a busy final few weeks as they fine-tune their preparations for this summer's inaugural tournament.

“This final month is all about training together and working hard on our tactics,” said Buller. “The girls have improved a lot over the past few years and we can’t wait for the Games to begin.”    

The squad will meet in Cardiff this weekend for the first of three intensive training camps. After two days in the Welsh capital they will spend four days at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace before travelling to Birmingham where a tough game against City of Coventry has been arranged for Sunday 31 May at RAF Cosford.

The squad depart for Baku on Monday 8 June, and the opening game of the tournament will take place on Friday 12 June. 

Great Britain have been drawn in Group A alongside Greece, Netherlands, Hungary, Germany and Israel while Group B consists of Spain, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, France and Serbia. The top three from each will progress to the knockout stages.

“The best ever result for a GB team is seventh at a European Juniors and we’d love to beat that,” says Buller. “But we’ll take one game at a time and look to win each game we play.”

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