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Great Britain’s U17 Women ‘excited’ for European Championships challenge

Great Britain’s U17 Women’s water polo squad are in Turkey for the U17 European Championships that get underway on Saturday.

The 13-strong team flew out to Manisa on Thursday in what will be a first experience of international competition for various members of the team.

Great Britain have been drawn in Group D alongside Ireland, Serbia, Ukraine and hosts Turkey, who they’ll face across the opening three days of the event which runs from July 29 – August 6.

On Saturday, they’ll open up their campaign against Ireland before taking on Turkey that evening. Serbia will be their next opponents Sunday before a Monday morning match-up with Ukraine to decide their final group position.

If they finish in the top two of their group they’ll have the opportunity to reach the last eight of the competition – should they be able to defeat one of the top eight seeds from last year’s event.

If they finish third or fourth they’ll compete in a series of playoff matches to decide their overall placing.

The top seeds make up two separate groups of four (Groups A and B) where the top two in each group will directly qualify for the quarter-finals and joined by the winners of the crossover matches.

‘Excited for the challenge’

The team have flown out to Turkey and have trained in the Manisa Olympic Pool on Thursday evening ahead of their opening match-up.

The group will be led by head coach Craig Figes who will be supported by assistant coach Izzy Howe and team manager Siobhan Barnes throughout the Championships.

In the pool, City of Manchester’s Amelia Brooksbank will captain the team out in Turkey with club mate Lilly Pryce and Watford’s Eve Barnes being named as vice captains.

Figes, who is also Swim England’s Water Polo Programme Lead, says the team are prepared for the event after two recent training camps at Haberdashers and East Manchester Leisure Centre.

“We’ve prepared for the competition in the best way we possibly can.” He said.

“We’ve had two training camps at Haberdashers and East Manchester in the last week where we were able to spend time preparing some tactical elements to our game that we hope will help us out in Turkey.

“It’s a first experience of international competition for most of the players in the team and each member of the squad is ready to give their best efforts throughout the competition.

“The entire team and staff are all looking forward to the event and are excited to take up the challenge of European opposition.”

Click here to see the full GB squad.

Great Britain’s Group stage matches

Saturday 29 July

Great Britain v Ireland, 08:00

Great Britain v Turkey, 19:00

Sunday 30 July

Great Britain v Serbia, 10:00

Monday 31 July

Great Britain v Ukraine, 07:00

*Second phase fixtures will begin on 2 August based on the team’s final group position