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GB Women's EU Nations Cup experience set to filter down and inspire youngsters

Great Britain’s U19 squad are helping to inspire the next generation as they get set to compete in the 2023 Senior Women’s EU Nations Cup.

A total of 13 players – led by head coach Izzy Howe – will travel to Brno, Czechia.

The competition, which will get underway on Friday 1 December, will see the GB squad play the opening match and kick off their EU Nations campaign against Slovakia.

They follow that fixture with an afternoon match against the hosts, Czech Republic, before facing off against Wales and Sweden on day two.

Sunday’s fixture list sees the third placed team play the fourth placed team for bronze, with the team at the top of the group then playing the second placed team for gold.

Although Great Britain will face some tough opposition, head coach Howe recently explained that her group of ‘incredibly talented players’ will ‘rise to the challenge’.

Role models

Swim England Water Polo Programme Lead, Craig Figes, revealed that having teams competing in competitions such as the EU Nations Cup is providing role models and inspiration for the younger athletes who are involved in the Swim England talent pathways.

He said: “The GB senior women have done brilliantly in 2023 and it’s great to see the positive impact this is having on the sport.

“There’s so many young women preparing properly, playing well and at a high level, and this weekend will be another perfect example of that.

“The EU Nations will be a great opportunity for our U19 squad to gain further valuable experience of playing in a senior competition and will only help as they prepare for the Europeans in 2024.

“We have strong squads at both senior and U19s level which is great for the future of women’s water polo over the coming years.

“I think it’s really important that we have those role models in both the women’s and the men’s teams.

“In particular, for the youngsters we have on our talent programmes at the moment. I think it’s so helpful for the next generation.

“Those young players will be looking at these athletes and seeing what their future could look like.

“Specifically for the U19s, their experiences will help set them up for challenges of a European campaign next year and filter down and help to ensure the younger athletes are in the best place possible when they get the opportunity.”

All fixtures from the Women’s EU Nations Cup will be live streamed on the Czech Water Polo Federation’s YouTube channel.

Women’s EU Nations Cup fixtures

Friday 1 December

Slovakia vs Great Britain, 7.30am GMT

Great Britain vs Czech Republic, 12.30pm GMT

Saturday 2 December

Great Britain vs Wales, 7.30am GMT

Sweden vs Great Britain, 4.30pm GMT

Sunday 3 December

Bronze medal match, 8.30am GMT

Gold medal match, 9.55am GMT