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Woman up: the monthly blog of the GB women’s water polo team - July update

Don’t miss out on the action. Keep up with the Women’s GB Water Polo team through their monthly blog. This time the blog comes from centre-forward Angela Winstanley-Smith.

So much has been going on since the last blog. First of all we had a tournament in the mosquito central town of Kirishi, Russia.

GB really is starting to have the 'never-say-die' attitude that allows teams to get a result against anyone.

The tournament consisted of four teams - GB, Canada, Russian and Germany. Although we finished 4th we had some interesting results, notably against the twice-world champions Canada.

Contrary to the Canadian press release, they did have a very similar team as the one that played at the world final in Rome 2009. We were now competing with the best, and several athletes developed a very high standard in mosquito swatting. Aine Hoy was the eventual Kirishi Champion!
Next stop was Manchester for a week of training-as-usual - I always find it hard to train for a week at home in-between competitions. We left for the first world league in Budapest only seven days after returning from Russia, so it wasn't so bad.

Not wanting to change habits we again had a 'group of death':  GB, Hungary, Italy, Russia and Germany. On past results no one would have expected us to get a result. But the first match changed that! 

GB 8 Italy 7. Great start! Next game was against Hungary, and it was a complete nightmare. We were just not good enough. The final game against Germany, however, was a lot better, even though we eventually lost six-four.... we now knew we could beat them.

Szilveszter gave us a small tour of his home town just outside of Budapest, where we celebrated his 30th birthday ( we are not so sure about age!!!) with 'the best ice cream in the world! Again… when I retire from the sport I will be publishing a book with all the 'best' ice cream parlours in the world!
The final leg of our miniature tour of Europe took us to Messina, Sicliy. The heat was astounding. Same teams: round 2, ding!.

We fared a lot better against Russia and Hungary, having competitive matches and really posing problems.  The 2nd from last game really showed the improvements we've made: GB 8 Germany 7.

After some frantic subbing and very gutsy shots (Frankie Snell's pressure penalty!) we finally beat Germany - the first time in years, and never while I’ve been a player for the GB. Forget Hadrian's Wall,  China or Berlin, during that game a new famous 'wall' was born - Rosie Morris!

On a serious note, it would be unfair to name names as the team performance was undoubtedly what got us the result. GB really is starting to have the 'never-say-die' attitude that allows teams to get a result against anyone. The last game was against Italy on Italian soil. Not much to be said, apart from we were the better team - it was a game of missed chances and disallowed goals.
After the busy recent times we are now having a well deserved rest. Back to the pool in a few weeks to prepare for the Commonwealths and that final push to 2012. First France, then Italy and now Germany...who can we beat next?

European Champs 2016