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Who will take home the U19 female national age group title?

Tomorrow marks the start of the GoCardless Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships 2024 finals (U17/U19).

In the build up to the competition, we’re taking a closer look at each of the U17 and U19 sides that are competing at finals weekend.

Here we take a look at the U19 female event which sees City of Manchester, City of Sheffield, Cheltenham and Worthing aim to become national champions. You can check out our previews for each of the other three events here.

City of Manchester

City of Manchester are no doubt the team to beat in the U19 Female event.

The North West side are looking to claim their third successive title in Gloucester this weekend and they can count on seven of last year’s squad to help them on their way to a potential three-peat.

In the preliminary round Manchester topped Group A with a 100% record, defeating Watford, Worthing, Otter and West London Penguin.

They’ll continue the defence of their crown against City of Sheffield where they could set up a repeat of last year’s final against Cheltenham.

Team manager Natalie Brooksbank said ahead of the event: “Having eased through the qualifiers with four wins from four, the girls are going into the weekend full of confidence and belief and are hoping to retain their title for a third successive year.

“They’ve been working hard in training and are ready for the challenge, knowing that there is fierce competition again this year! For many, this will be their last ever NAG’s tournament so they are hoping to finish on a high!”

Squad: Zara Caswell, Amelia Crompton, Charlotte Pritchard, Abigail Colson, Lucy Blenkinship, Nicole Kelly, Lilly Price, Nella Chang, Amy Houghton, Amelia Brooksbank, Ellie Donnellan, Ayla Tucker, Sonal Ladha.

Team staff: Izzy Howe, Dan Paddon, Natalie Brooksbank.

City of Sheffield

City of Sheffield come into this competition with something to prove.

The Yorkshire based side come into this event as underdogs but are more than ready to cause an upset at the GL1 Leisure Centre this weekend.

The team are regulars at this level and after winning bronze last year, they’ll be hopeful of taking that extra step up to reach the final this time around.

A match-up against the City of Manchester to open up their competition will be a tough challenge but head coach Gabby Williams believes her side are ready to prove that they are one of the best teams in the country.

She said: “City of Sheffield’s squad is a very young squad, primarily made up of last year’s team that secured bronze, with only two additional 2006 born players.

“We went into the prelims knowing it was going to be a very tough group as three of the top four teams from last year’s competition were all in the same group.

“After losing our first game against Cheltenham we had to win all of the remaining games but the girls worked as a team and dug deep right to the final whistle of each game, to secure the remaining wins.

“We are going into finals ready to prove City of Sheffield is one of the top teams in the country. I am very proud of all the girls and they are ready to step it up at finals. If they go in and give it their all, no matter the score they can get out with their heads held high.

“As the underdogs they are hungry for a win and I have no doubt there will be some great water polo on display. Whatever happens we will enjoy the experience and not give up till the final whistle is blown.”

Squad: Laura Skelton (Captain), Connie Swainson (Vice Captain), Severn Annakin, Lauren Bellett, Alice Berrill, Georgie Coles, Hannah Croker, Rowena Kanan, Izzi Olcer, Ruby Taylor, Caitlin Urquhart, Anna Woodhall.

Team staff: Gabby Williams, Kevin Swainson, Rachel Skelton. 


Cheltenham will be gunning to avenge last year’s final defeat by adding to their U17 success with the U19 title this time around.

James Ross’ side topped their qualification group with four wins from four in Group B. They defeated City of Sheffield, City of Liverpool, City of Bristol and Solihull, scoring 48 times in the process to comfortably claim top spot.

Their strong squad, includes a number of exciting talents such as Amelie Perkins – who was a part of Great Britain’s senior women’s squad for their incredible European Championships campaign in January.

She is one of eight players returning from last year where they’ll be favourites to make the final once again as they enter their semi-final match with Worthing.

Ahead of the competition, Ross is hopeful that his side can bring home some silverware from Gloucester.

He said: “The National Age Group Championship finals are always tough and anything can happen, but we have a strong group of girls who have almost all played in the last two finals so we are hoping to bring back some silverware this year.

Squad: Sophie Leveridge, Amelie Perkins, Bella Balzaretti, Georgia Haslam, Elizabeth Ross, Jessica Day, Charlotte Turpin, Alexandra Haslam, Alice Shields, Megan Ross, Ella Webster, Adriana Rodriguez.


Like their U17 female side, Worthing’s team are the first from their club to make the finals in the female events.

The group did however show their quality in the preliminary round with victories over the likes of West London Penguin and an Otter side who have made the finals on each of the last four occasions, winning two of those events.

Their coach Lauren Hand says her side are looking forward to the opportunity of competing in Gloucester.

She said: “We are thrilled that we are competing in the finals of the Girls U19s National Age Group Championships, particularly as this is the first time we’ve had any girls team (let alone two!) represent Worthing at the finals.

“Whilst we have a few players at the top of the age group who will enjoy this opportunity to compete in their last NAGs, the majority of our team is very young and this will be a great experience for them.

“All the girls are looking forward to the opportunity and we hope that we play as well as we possibly can.”

Squad: Amelia Cook, Calista Almeida, Becky Smith, Ella Boyle, Leelou Butcher, Elsie Graves, Lilly Dallimore, Lillie Standen, Luisa Borgia, Skye Priede, Abi Macdonald, Florrie Cooper, Maia Middleton

You can follow all the scores from the weekend here and you can keep up with all the action through Swim England’s social media channels. You’ll be able to find all the reports from the event on the Swim England website within the Water Polo hub.