The Sydney Uni Wildcats were a reminder to the Water Polo community that we must never lose sight of the fact that we want the athlete experience to be fun and if we can create some life-long memories along the way then we had achieved our objectives in the sport.
The team was an amalgamation of B2002, 2003 and 2004 athletes from our club and some guests from neighbouring Inner West clubs who had missed representative selection for the tournament; it was with great excitement when several Sydney Uni club members residing in the ACT also made themselves available.
We went into the tournament as a late entry seeded 28th and managed to emerge 5th equal. When we saw the draw, we didn’t know what to expect in terms of level of the other teams except the NSW Waratahs and the South African Schools 1st team that we knew would be pretty competitive.
Because of this lack of information and obviously preparation (1h training session together as a full team) but mostly because we wanted to make this trip filled with a maximum of good memories, we didn’t set any expectation of results. Playing a skilful and resilient type of game to enjoy our time at the pool was our first aim.
We tried to develop a fast type of game based on the belief that if we were working well on our side of the pool, it’ll be easier for us in attack as we were playing with a lot movement and speed = a fast counter with lots of drives and quick decision making to increase our number of opportunities to score.
Game time, managing the teams fatigue while keeping a good team spirit was always on the top of our minds, even though we had some games were some of the most experienced ones were barely getting out of the water, the girls on the bench were just amazing by being only positive and supportive to each other.
This attitude and a combination of high intensity defence and constant mobility carried us through this tournament to an unbelievable 5th place. It is worth remembering that we faced the 2 South African Schools teams, the 2 Queensland State teams and the NSW Waratahs to reach that position.
By combining an unmissable gastro experience, quality sight-seeing, great people, a screaming playlist and high quality coaching we reduced the ‘inner burden’ on young athletes and let them perform at their best.
Looking forward to the next trip of the Mighty Wildcats!
Coach: Raphael Pirat
Assistant Coach: Ivana Drakulic
Manager: Luke Fitzgerald