Great Britain's women can be 'among the world's best'

Great Britain’s women head for the LEN U19 European Water Polo Championships with head coach Nick Hume insisting: “They can be among the world’s best.”

The competition gets underway on Sunday 9 September in Madeira and Hume says his side will ‘battle hard’.

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Two years ago, the team finished sixth in the Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championships – the highest place every achieved by a British women’s team.

And it is performances like that – and an impressive victory over China during a warm-up for the championships – that has led to Hume praising his ‘remarkable’ squad.

They kick off their tournament with a Group B clash against Slovakia on Sunday before facing Hungary on Monday.

A final group game against Israel is on Tuesday with knockout stages held from Wednesday onwards.

Hume said: “Heading towards the upcoming European Championships, we’ve had frustratingly little preparation.

“We thought we’d be playing at the World Championships in August only to find out in late May that wasn’t to be.

Meet the squad

The squad selected by head coach Nick Hume and assistant coach Sue Webb to take part in the championships is:

  • Molly Boniface-Ashton (City of Liverpool/Bridgefield)
  • Annie Clapperton (City of Manchester)
  • Katy Cutler (Otter/Basingstoke)
  • Lauren Dundee (AESE/BIWPA, Spain)
  • Robyn Greenslade (Otter)
  • Sophie Jackson (City of Leeds)
  • Anna Jenkins-Delph (Welsh Wanderers)
  • Amelia Peters (Rotherham/City of Sheffield)
  • Emily Pyper (City of Liverpool/Bridgefield)
  • Emmie-Rose Eastwood (City of Manchester)
  • Lily Turner (Otter)
  • Steph Whittaker (City of Manchester)
  • Milly Wordley (City of Liverpool)

“Since then we’ve had to scramble around to find good training and competitions. Everything has been compromised in some way.

“Irrespective of this, the squad’s level is remarkable, particularly in view of the lack of daily and weekly training they can access. Recently we played and beat China, a GB first, in a tournament in Hungary. China train together 40 weeks a year, six days a week and we train together one weekend every month.

“The European Championships will be tough this year. Our team is either one or two years out of age. But their skill, determination and unrelenting spirit means we’ll battle hard for every minute.

“This generation is the best we’ve ever had. They can compete on the world stage and be amongst the world’s best.”

Team captain Annie Clapperton added: “Training has been stepped up leading to the Europeans – this has tested the team and every player.

“Everyone has taken on the challenge. In Hungary, we had a hard week of training and match competition against China, Slovakia and the Szentes senior women’s team.

“This gave us invaluable experience against the standard of teams we will face in the group stages. It has highlighted areas we need to work on to be successful in Madeira.

“I believe in the girls and I’m excited to see what we can do.”