Boys and Coach Head to Malta with National ESSA Water Polo Squad
Friday, 10 July 2015
Four out of the 15 players selected for the English School Swimming Association (ESSA) senior boys water polo squad will come from Bolton School. They are 18 year olds Lewis Daly, Aaron Winstanley and Sam Richards and 17 year old Tom Prayle. The School Water Polo Coach, Andy McGinty will also join up with the squad. No other school has more than one player in the squad. The boys will assemble at Northampton School for Boys for an intensive training camp this weekend ahead of next week’s Exiles International Invitation Tournament in Malta.
In conjunction with the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta, an ESSA team consisting of 16 players born in 1997 will compete at the National Aquatics Stadium in Sliema against two South African teams, the national champions of Netherlands and a Malta representative side.
London 2012 Olympian Sean King will coach the talented youngsters alongside Bolton School’s Andy McGinty and Sean says he’s anticipating some highly-competitive games.
“We imagine the South African sides to be very strong and physical, while the Dutch team are national champions, so they will also be strong,” says Sean.
He continues: “The Malta team will be of a similar standard to ourselves, but we’ll be expecting tough games from all the sides and this tournament will provide great competition for us.
“This weekend in Northampton we’ll be looking at the fitness levels of the team as well as trying to introduce a few of the defensive and attacking ideas we’ll be looking to use out in Malta.
“This tournament is a fantastic opportunity for the players and it will give them great experience of playing international water polo and will ultimately benefit them and the teams they go on to represent, including the GB team.”
The ESSA team, which will be captained by Bolton School’s Lewis Daly, fly out on Thursday 16th July and the prestigious four-day tournament begins on Sunday 19th.
While in Malta the players will be based at the Exiles Club in Sliema, who are hosting the event, and a series of warm-up games against Maltese sides have been arranged in the traditional sea pitches as preparation once the team arrives.
With the local National Water Polo Leagues temporarily suspended to allow the tournament to take place, the ESSA team can expect to play in front of bumper Maltese crowds, famous for their loud and passionate support.
All 16 players were selected after their excellent performances at the 2014 Duke of Cambridge Cup, which was held in October at RAF Cranwell.