Player development with England Water Polo Talent

Do you like the idea of playing water polo for your country, across the world in junior or youth international tournaments? Read on to find out how to get involved with the England Water Polo Talent Pathway.

The England Water Polo Talent Pathway is the route to train and play at the highest level water polo in England and has two main aims:

  • Identifying the most talented young water polo players in England based on technical and tactical standards.
  • Developing these players to an international level.

Not sure which nation you are eligible to train and play for? Check out our home nations eligibility guidance.

3 stages of water polo player development in England

The England Water Polo Talent Pathway involves three stages of development for players from U14 to senior age groups.

  1. Regional Academy Programme
  2. National Academy Programme
  3. National Squad Programme

The stages ultimately lead to selection to senior national teams. The long term aim of the pathway is to achieve international success and re-establish a funded world class GB programme. Click here to download the player pathway matrix.

Regional Academy Programme

Each of the Swim England regions run monthly training sessions for their top U14 and U16 male and female players, culminating in the U14 and U16 Inter Regional Championships (IRC).

Players work towards a set of technical standards. Throughout the Regional Academy, Head Regional Coaches will assess against this criteria and nominate players to the next step on the pathway.

The U14 & U16 Inter Regional Championships will be used as an additional talent identification opportunity for National Academy Coaches to select from, to ensure no potential talent is missed.

National Academy Programme

The top 30 boys and top 30 girls at U14 and U16 age groups, who meet the technical standards and can score well on the selection assessments, will be selected from across the seven Regional Academies to join the National Academy.

National Academy players will be part of two weekend training camps that emulate a National Squad environment, followed by a five-day Academy where players will be selected to represent England against junior international teams of appropriate competitive standard.

National Academy players should download a log book and training diary to record their progress throughout the year.

National Squad Programme

The national squads are the top level of the talent pathway in England. U17, U19 and senior national squads train every month and work towards competing at European and international competitions.

Players are selected to the U17 National Squad Programme from the National Academy or through periodical open trials. You can view the latest national squads through the links below.