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Youngsters off to Prague to defend youth title

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By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s Under-17 women’s water polo players plan on bringing back more sporting glory to the rainbow nation as they defend their EU Nations 10 Women’s Youth title in Prague later this month.

Last year the girls returned triumphant from the same tournament in Odense, Denmark and coach Luke Manthe will once again be at the helm.

The South Africans have been placed in a pool alongside Wales, Israel, Malta and Ireland.

But before they start their competition they’ll play warm-up games against ‘pool-mates’ Israel, Czech Republic, Germany and England.

This team should be well prepped by Prague having already spent some time touring in Zimbabwe and having a pre-tour training camp.

Says Manthe: ‘Going to the EU tournament as defending champions is rather exciting as we now have a standard to uphold and I’m really excited for the polo that’s going to be played in this tournament.

‘This is the first international tournament under the SSA banner for these girls and I’m extremely excited to be coaching them, it’s a talented age group and I’m confident in them!

‘Israel are pretty strong in women’s water polo at the moment and they could be a tough game for us. We need to end top of our pool to get through to the semi which at this stage looks like being either Czech Republic or Germany.’

A captain has yet to be named for the tournament although Durban Girls’ College Emma Herbert assumed those duties during the Zimbabwe tour.

Team picture courtesy of Bruno Fernandes

The full squad: Herbert (goalkeeper), Tasmin Wait (GK, CGA), Nthatisi Mota (CGA), Maria Diedricks (KZN), Kate Hinrichs (CGA), Elizabeth Williamson (NMBA), Ana Trnininc (CGA), Leah Bullough (WPA), Megan Swanepoel (CGA), Leila Fernandes (CGA), Paige Trancel (KZN), Hanna Reid (NMBA), Courtney O’Shaughnessy (CGA)

Coach: Mathe, Assistant coach: Brad Rowe, Manager: Candace Appollis, Referee: Lee Ann Keet Stewart


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