Four West Aussies in Australian Men’s Team for World Youth Championships
The future of Australian men’s water polo looks bright with the talent-laden Youth boy’s team set to take on the best in the world at the 2014 FINA World Youth Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Australian Born ‘96 team boasts players with excellent water polo experience including Tim Reeves, Luke Pavillard, Mitchell and Keenan Marsden who among other things all have significant National Water Polo League experience.
Reeves was a member of the UNSW Wests Magpies premiership winning squad at last weekend’s NWPL finals and was also one of the youngest National League players, debuting at 16-years-old. In addition to his exploits in Australia, the talented centre forward has recently signed a deal to play college water polo with the University of the Pacific in California.
Pavillard, who has excelled in his second season in the National League for the Fremantle Mariners, with 36 goals from 23 games, was also named in the side. He brings to the team experience from his time with the Aussie Sharks earlier this year where he scored twice in Australia’s victory over Russia in their one off test match, as well as selection in the 2012 FINA World Youth Championship and 2013 FINA World Junior Championship teams.
While recent experience with the Sharks is a bonus, Mitch and Keenan Marsden join the squad with the benefit of excellent water polo pedigree thanks to their father, triple Olympian Daniel Marsden, who has represented Australia on 350 occasions. The boys also have the added bonus of their father coaching and playing alongside them at the Hunter Hurricanes in the National League.
Also earning selection in the team is the UWA Torpedoes’ Lach Pethick, the Cronulla Sharks’ Angus Lambie and the KFC Queensland Breakers’ Kieran Mulcahy. The 13-man team has also called on the abilities of goalkeepers Josh Zekulich and Jack Bell, centre back Alex Bogunovich, utility James Smith and driver Rhys Holden. Head coach Andrew Yanitsas praised the efforts of all those involved in the selection process, and gave special mention to the 13 selected.
“I would like to firstly congratulate the 13 boys that have been selected for the world championship team,” Yanitsas said.
“They have all shown that they deserve their spot in the team, their dedication and future in the sport cannot be questioned. We must now reassess our goals to achieve a good result in Turkey.
“I would also like to take the time to thank all the athletes involved in the squad over the past three years. It has been a long journey and I appreciate their effort and dedication in the process.
“Moving forward, we now have eight weeks of preparation before we assemble in Adelaide prior to the 20’s tournament. This time is crucial to build our fitness both in and out of the water.”
The team will assemble in Adelaide for the 20 & Under National Championships, before heading to a tournament in Sicily, Italy and then Szeged, Hungary prior to a training week in Serbia. They will then travel to Istanbul, Turkey for the FINA World Youth Championships from August 2 to 10.
SportsLink International travel packages are now available for the men’s FINA World Youth championships in Istanbul.
Australia Youth Boys (B’96) team for FINA World Youth Championships, Turkey (Aug 2-10)
GK’s: Josh Zekulich (B’96, WA), Jack Bell (B’96, Qld)
Field Players: Tim Reeves (B’96, ACT), Angus Lambie (B’96, NSW), Alex Bogunovich (B’96, WA), Lach Pethick (B’97, WA), Kieran Mulcahy (B’96, Qld), Luke Pavillard (B’96, WA), James Smith (B’96, NSW), Chris Perrot (B’96, Vic), Rhys Holden (B’97, NSW), Keenan Marsden (B’98, NSW), Mitch Marsden (B’97, NSW)
Coaching Staff: Andrew Yanitsas (Head Coach), Mark Salmon (Strength & Conditioning), Daniel Bartels (Referee)