The Men warm up for their first qualifier against Georgia
Team Manager Tony Strong sends his first update from Tbilsi where Great Britain’s Men’s Water Polo team, powered by British Gas, are set to play their first European Championship 2012 Qualifier against hosts Georgia.
This is the first major game the team has played since many of them joined clubs overseas. The team can now boast being able to speak five different languages (Spainish, Romanian, German, Hungarian and of course Dutch) fluently!
I think a big thank you and recognition must be given to Byron and the team in Loughborough for getting everyone home before we came out for this trip - it must have been a logistical nightmare!
Anyway, after a couple of days training and getting to know each other again in Manchester we took a short trip over to Amsterdam for the first of a couple of friendly matches against select Dutch teams.
The team arrived at the pool an hour late for our first match so after a short warm-up, we went straight into the game. We played well and held a small lead but tiredness showed as the match went on and the team lost a close game 11-8.
The following morning the teams were due to meet again and after a good night's sleep the GB team took an early lead finishing the first quarter 3-1.
We looked much sharper and continued to score in the second quarter with notable performances from Scott Carpenter, not as is usual for his attacking skills but his defence! (Yes, I said defence!). Matt Holland was also playing well between the sticks in the absence of Ed Scott. We finished the second quarter 6-4 ahead.
The third quarter was a tighter affair as a strong Dutch team rallied but the GB team were playing with confidence and manged to finish the quarter 8-5 up. The final quarter saw us finish strongly as was reflected in a final score of 11-6 to GB.
Head coach Cristian Iordache was pleased with the result and the effort of the team and is hoping to take this confidence into Saturday's important game with Georgia.
The game is being shown live on Georgian TV and we're expecting a great atmosphere here.
The game is also available to watch on the internet - click here.