Christine Barretto’s international water polo experience could play a crucial role when the SA women’s team compete at the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League in Lille, France from May 8-10.
With over five years experience playing in the Irish league, Barretto’s ability on the left or at centre forward, should be of great value to SA in their fixtures against France (May 8), Spain (May 9) and Italy (May 10).
Other key players in the 13-strong squad who will be out to lend support to the SA cause include left player Nicolette Poulos (Gauteng), centre forward Tammy Heydenrych (KwaZulu Natal), utility player Sarah Lee Harris (WP),┬á right player/centre forward Lee-Anne Keet (KwaZulu Natal) and defender Megan Schooling (WP).
‘ The players are quite excited at having the opportunity of competing in the World League, which will be their first level of international competition since the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia in 2006,’ said Durban-based national team coach Brad Rowe.
‘One must take into account that countries like Italy and France have professional women’s water polo leagues so we are expecting to be up against a high standard of play, but our players will be out to prove that with intensive training and regular competition, they can compete with the best teams in the world.’
Nicolette Paulos (Gauteng), Naydene Smith (Gauteng), Marcelle Keet (Bor), Tammy Heydenrych (KZN), Sarah Lee Harris (WP), Jade Liddell (WP), Christine Barretto (KZN), Hayley Duncan (KZN), Lee-Anne Keet (KZN), Laura Barrett (WP), Nicole Stanley (KZN), Mbali Mpofu (KZN), Megan Schooling (WP).
Coach: Brad Rowe
Assistant coach: Alex Hawkins
Manager: Galidjah Hendricks
SA referee: Ian Melliar