Ed Scott Blog: Goal line news from Georgia
5th April 2013
The British Gas GBR Men’s Water Polo team have just finished competing in the first round of the LEN European Championships 2014 Qualifiers in Georgia. Goalkeeper Ed Scott gives us a quick insight into the team’s performances.
Before heading to Georgia for the qualifiers, the squad were in Barcelona for just over a week. We trained against three different teams from the top division in Spain, St Andreu, CN Catalunya and Terrassa, working mainly tactical work in the mornings with game play at night.
The team spirit was really high and we improved steadily over the week.
This was the first time the GB Men’s squad had played together since the summer so it was a great environment to blow away the cobwebs and get used to playing together again.
The team spirit in the squad was really high and we improved steadily over the week of training thanks to a well-organised schedule and strong opposition.
All players have taken very well to new coach Paul Metz, who has brought some very structured and well thought-out aims for the team’s game play.
We arrived in Georgia on Wednesday evening after a long day of travelling, having left our base in Barcelona at 4am. We trained on the evening we arrived in preparation for the game against the host nation on the Thursday night.
Our first game against Georgia didn't go as planned. We had a very slow start going 3-0 down in the first quarter. Georgia came at us really strongly from the first whistle and we didn't match their physicality.
In the second quarter, Georgia grew in confidence as they continued to come at us strongly with a further six goals to our one, with us failing to take our chances.
Although the chances of winning the game were gone after the first half, we steadily improved through the second matching the Georgians physicality to draw the second half 2-2. The final score was 12-3.
It was very disappointing to start the tournament so slowly but we were confident that we could improve our performances dramatically to move forward as a team in the following games.
Friday morning was a different story as we played a Polish side who we used to train and play with as they were strong competition for us four or five years ago. Our physical conditioning proved stronger early on as we had counter attack opportunities on almost every attack.
Rob Parker led by example by scoring two goals and drawing lots of major fouls in the first half and we went into the break leading 6-1.
We continued to dominate with structured counter attack and set defences to win the game a decisive 11-3. It was good to see Tom Curwen making his international comeback playing hard at centre back and scoring a few goals himself!
Our physical conditioning proved stronger early on as we had counter attack opportunities on nearly every attack.
On Saturday evening we played a young Czech Republic team. Again, our strong physical fitness showed early on as we had counter attack opportunities throughout the first half and we were leading comfortably 7-1 at half time.
We continued to play at high tempo in the second half with a strong press defence and continuing counter attacks. We finished the game winning 17-4.
The main focus was on Sunday mornings game against Slovakia. A win was needed to finish second in the group and therefore have a more favourable draw for the second group qualifying stage in July..
We started the game very strongly with a clear plan to isolate their stronger players. This showed as we led 2-0 in the first quarter. A very organised defence in 6v6 and man down proved very hard for the Slovaks to break down, with Matt Holland making fantastic saves to keep the goals out.
The strong and experienced Slovakian team managed to fight their way back into the game as we traded goals in the second half. Both teams had opportunities to win the match but eventually ended with a 5-5 final score.
Although this was one of the best results against a strong European team, we were very disappointed to finish third in the group as it makes our job a bit more difficult in July but we played some great Polo and the team really played well together.