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Water Polo Talent Centres back underway ahead of 'exciting' second year

Swim England’s Water Polo Talent Centre programme is underway for it’s second year with each of the five talent centres beginning their regular training sessions in September.

A number of new squads have been selected with more than 100 new athletes joining the programme in year two.

The new athletes have formed the bulk of the Open/Male and Female U14 squads for athletes with those born in 2007 becoming the first graduates of the programme following July’s Talent Games event.

Those selected will receive weekly or fortnightly coaching from a team of experienced international coaches and will follow an agreed national syllabus that is designed to equip them with what they need to thrive on the international level.

Along with the four original talent centres based in Bolton, the Midlands, London and the South, a fifth centre in the East recently hosted it’s first ever training sessions.

It’s based at Haberdashers boy’s school with experienced coach Edi Brkovic heading up the programme.

Brkovic has been head coach at Watford Water Polo Club for more than 10 years and has previously been a national academy head coach and British coach.

‘Huge Talent’

And following the first sessions at Haberdashers, he is excited about the talent he has seen from across the region.

He said: “The first few sessions have gone really well, we’ve seen huge talent joining us from across the East and London too.

“The coaches are working really hard to deliver the programme and we hope that we will continue to develop and attract even more players.

“We are looking forward to showcasing players from our centre at the upcoming Talent games events.”

Andy McGinty, Swim England Water Polo Talent Inclusion Officer, added: “Just over a year ago the Talent Centres were still just an idea so to be underway for our second year is incredible.

“It’s been great to see all the young talent in the country develop and we’re excited that we’ve been able to expand it and bring the programme to more players across the country.

“A number of those that graduated have gone on to join Great Britain’s U17 national squads and will be a major part of our European Championship teams in the future.

“We’re working hard to continue to develop the programme but are hopeful that with more high quality coaching and regular pool time that we can really take the sport forward.”

You can find out more about the Swim England Water Polo Talent Centre programme here.