Men’s Water Polo blog - the International Dutch Trophy
15 June 2011
In this update, British Gas GBR Men’s Water Polo team head coach Cristian Iordache looks back on the team’s trip to the International Dutch Trophy in the Netherlands.
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Only a few days after the full squad was back in Manchester, we went to the International Dutch Trophy to play against two top European teams, Romania and Macedonia, and the Netherlands, the host country of the 2012 European Championship play-off.
We were playing exceptionally well, quickly adapting to the Romanian strategies of penetrating our defence around the centre forward.
We started with a couple of days preparation with the Dutch which proved to be very beneficial in terms of team bonding and repeating different tactical schemes.
Our objectives were to control the start of the game, to cover the opposition’s counters, total coverage of the centre forward in our defence and full concentration in man up/man down.
The first game, against Romania, was prepared in detail. We spent our video session focusing on total closing of Radu Cosmin (one of the best centre forwards in the world at the moment), breaking down the Romanian attack and ways of penetrating the Romanian press defence.
After three quarters we were down only 3-6, our boys playing exceptionally well and adapting quickly to the Romanian strategies of penetrating our defence around the centre forward; Radu Cosmin did not score any goal from the centre forward position, which is a very, very rare occurence!
The final score was 4-10 which was still our best result against Romania (6th in the world and 7th in Europe at this moment), with our team showing a fantastic team spirit and motivation (scorers: Parker 2, Figes 1, Parsonage 1).
For our second game against Macedonia we applied a very efficient left zone on their weak side, closing their best players (on their attacking left side and their massive centre forward); we applied more movement in our offense, finding the way to our centre forward a lot more than in our previous match.
The officials commented on our ability to maintain a high level of intensity throughout the game.
All our players played even better than the first day, with a much more organised defence and sharp counters. We were a bit unlucky to be down by only one goal by the end of the game (7-8) against Macedonia, who conceded only four goals against Spain in the European Qualifiers.
The officials at the tournament commented on our ability to maintain a high level of intensity throughout the game and the quick gain of experience and progress of our men’s team. (scorers: Parker 4, Figes 1, Parsonage 1, Laxton 1).
Our last match was a head-to-head game against the host country, Holland. It was a very dynamic and sharp performance from both sides and only a few mistakes in the last three minutes of the third quarter - due to the lack of games of some of our players - made the difference: 6-11 (scorers: Parker 2, Figes 1, King 1, O’Regan 1, Scholefield 1).
The tournament has underlined the whole teams' ability to quickly close the gap between us and top European countries, a strong team spirit and motivation to step up and play at high level in a short period of time.