Great Britain’s U19 men gain vital competition experience in Barcelona

Great Britain’s U19 men’s water polo squad have been in Barcelona for a three day training camp, which included vital competition experience in the Next Generations Water Polo Cup.

Teams from eight different countries travelled to Spain for the event, hosted by one of Europe’s leading water polo clubs – CN Sabadell.

The players improved consistently as the competition progressed as they faced some top-level and professional opposition throughout the three days from 8-10 September.

After a tough opening day, Great Britain completed their group phase on Saturday with a battling performance against Serbian side KVK Radnički.

It was a narrow 7-5 loss where the British team were always in the contest before a goal seven seconds from time gave the Serbian’s a crucial two-goal advantage they needed.

Reuben Powell and Alistair Cook both netted twice for Great Britain with Daniel Preston adding the other late in the third quarter.

The result put the GB team in the seventh to tenth place crossover matches where they were then defeated 12-5 by the hosts.

CN Sabadell – a club that’s won six LEN women’s Champions Leagues – started brightly at the start of each half to gain the advantage but Tim Dunsbee’s squad fought on throughout with a 4-4 tie in the final period a testament to their efforts.

They ended the competition in tenth after another closely fought encounter with Italian side ASD Como Nuoto.

Great Britain got off to a strong start and led 5-4 at half time before two goals in the final 90 seconds saw Como Nuoto come away with a 10-8 victory.

Cook impressed again with a hat trick as Powell and Henry Jackson scored a brace apiece. Ben Alderson completed the British scoring.

Valuable experience

Swim England Water Polo Programme Lead, Craig Figes, said that it was massively important for the squad to come face to face with high level European opposition.

He said:  “Competition experience was always the most important thing for this team who have been massively affected by Covid so it’s been important for them to have the chance to face European opponents.

“They’ve faced teams from a number of nations and acquitted themselves well against both professional and semi-professional players.

“The trip was a valuable experience for the team as they prepare for their European Qualifiers next year and they should be proud of their efforts.

“Thank you to everyone at the BIWPA (Barcelona International Water Polo Academy) and hosts CN Sabadell for hosting the event and to coaches Tim and Sarah Dunsbee as well as team manager James Jackson for supporting the squad.”

Great Britain men’s U19 squad at BIWPA Next Generations Water Polo Cup

  • Ben Alderson, Sedgefield/Rotherham Metro
  • Alistair Cook, Hucknall
  • Murray Dickson, Stirling
  • Cayden Down, Sedgefield
  • Callum Eccles, City of Sheffield
  • Henry Jackson, Rotherham Metro
  • Ryan James, Sedgefield
  • Sam Leveridge, Bingham
  • Andrew Lowe, Rotherham Metro
  • Louie Mckie, Cheltenham
  • Felix Monaghan, Worthing
  • Reuben Powell, Exeter
  • Daniel Preston, Rotherham Metro
  • Pierre Rivet, Beckenham
  • Hamza Tran, Hucknall
  • Tim Dunsbee, head coach
  • Sarah Dunsbee, assistant coach
  • James Jackson, team manager