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GB put final touches to Baku 2015 preparation

With exactly a month to go until the start of the Baku 2015 European Games, the excitement is building for Great Britain’s Under-17 water polo girls.

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

After dramatically securing their ticket to Azerbaijan in April with a second-place finish in qualifying in Nice, the team have been working tirelessly as they aim to make an impact at Baku 2015.

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

The team will spend four days at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace (24-27 May), before travelling to Birmingham to receive their British Olympic Association kit at the NEC on Saturday 30 May.

A tough game against City of Coventry, who finished second in this year’s women’s British Championships, has also 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.”

Team GB

  • Danica Brazier (Chelmsford)
  • Isabelle Dean (London Otter)
  • Hannah Edwards (Menzieshill Whitehall)
  • Sophie Jackson (Leeds)
  • Fleur Kennedy (City of Coventry)
  • Verity McCoy (Liverpool)
  • Mhairi Nurthen (London Otter)
  • Lara Partridge (Crawley)
  • Hayley Price (Tyldesley)
  • Kathy Rogers (London Otter)
  • Grace Rowland (Liverpool)
  • Lucy Shaw (Liverpool)
  • Beth Ward (Devonport Royal)