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FREMANTLE WATER POLO: ROUND 4 & 5 RECAP | Sydney Uni, Cronulla Sharks & UWA Torpedoes

It has been a busy and strenuous few weeks for Fremantle Water Polo, with back to back games and long travel days. Though the 2020 Season is presenting some challenges, both the Marlins and the Mariners are competing well against the high-performing teams of the season.

We caught up with the Marlins following Round 4 & 5:

After the four-day road-trip for round 3, the Fremantle Marlins worked hard in Round 4 to win both games against the Cronulla Sharks and keep a small margin with their losses against Sydney Uni Lions. Marlins’ coach Katie Finucane said the girls were tired but “ready to see what the Sydney teams were all about”.

“We had some good games in Queensland and Newcastle, but also have a lot to improve on,” Finucane says.

“Unfortunately, the tight turn around meant that we didn’t have that much time to work on strategy in training so had to try implement them during the games against Sydney Uni and Cronulla”.

Marlins utility veteran, Kelly Parks said the team has been playing well but are inconsistent.

“In Round 4 we played well in our first game with Cronulla, but had some concentration lapses in the second game, we were fortunate to come away with a win from the penalty shoot-out” commented Parks.

The Marlins played another tight game against the UWA Torpedoes in the second derby of the season in Round 5.

Parks commented that commitments to the Rottnest Channel swim was always going to make it difficult, but it provided a good opportunity for the younger players to gain some much-needed experience.

“It was terrific to see that some of our senior players who competed in the grueling swim to Rottnest, made it back to Perth to make sure the team was covered to play the match,” Parks noted it was “An amazing effort by those girls and one that was rewarded by the Marlins taking the win on the night.”

There’s no denying the Fremantle Marlins are a close-knit team and work well together both in games and on the road. With another big travel week looming for the girls, Parks is excited at the opportunity for the young players to experience some good quality, tough games.

“It will be interesting to see how the other Sydney teams UTS Balmain and UNSW Wests compare to Sydney Uni, who seem to be the team to beat at the moment!” she says.

ROUND 4 FINAL SCORES:

Thursday 13/02           Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 10-6

Friday 14/02                Sydney Uni Lions def. Fremantle 11-6

Saturday 15/02           Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 14-13

Sunday 16/02             Fremantle def. Sydney Uni Lions 5-10

UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME PLAYERS OF THE ROUND: Lilian Hedges and Zoe Arancini

ROUND 5 FINAL SCORES:

Saturday 22/02           Fremantle def. UWA Torpedoes 11-10

UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Sarah Siepker

Mariners comments from the recent rounds:

The Fremantle Mariners performed exceptionally in the round 4 games, winning 3 of 4 games against the Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Uni Lions. Vice-Captain, Clancy Neesham reflected on the round noting that “the Mariners had turned a corner in consistency, playing hard for all 4 quarters of the games”

“We played really well as a team, by sticking to the coach’s game plan we had a really positive round of water polo for our boys in Round 4” Neesham said

When reflecting on the round, Adam Richardson noted “The games against Sydney University were harder overall, however I believe we would have won both games if we didn’t have two key attacking players sustain injuries which saw them retire for the match”

Richardson continued, “Overall the players did really well.  By the end of round 4 they had played 8 hard games over 11 days, and we had a very clear goal heading into Round 5 to win against the UWA Torpedoes.”

The large margin win in Round 5 was well-received amongst the Mariners, which Neesham said was the result of a big commitment from the team to stay focused on the game plan.

“We always look forward to playing in the Derby, there is always such a terrific atmosphere and it is exciting to watch the best players in WA water polo in action, It was a big effort to get enough players to compete against the Torpedoes, with a few team members doing the gruelling Rottnest Swim and then coming back to complete in the match which was tough. This made the game challenging but in true Freo style we gave it everything we had, and it was great under those tough circumstances to come away with a comprehensive win on the night,” Neesham commented.

The boys are looking forward to heading East in a couple of weeks, after some brilliant wins over the 2020 season.

Concluding on the round, Neesham said “I am confident our team is up for this challenge and as a group we aim to mix it with the best teams in the league, it should be an exciting run into the finals series.”

ROUND 4 FINAL SCORES:

Thursday 13/02           Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 17-8

Friday 14/02                Fremantle def. Sydney Uni Lions 12-10

Saturday 15/02           Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 19-11

Sunday 16/02             Sydney Uni Lions def. Fremantle 10-9

QUBE PLAYERS OF THE ROUND: John Hedges, Cody Smith and Pol Barbena

 

ROUND 5 FINAL SCORES:

Saturday 22/02           Fremantle def. UWA Torpedoes 15-9

QUBE PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Joel Swift

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Fremantle Water Polo: Round 3 Recap | Queensland Thunder & Hunter Hurricanes

Last weekend, our Fremantle teams travelled across to the eastern states to take on two teams, Queensland Thunder and the Hunter Hurricanes, for round 3 of the 2020 season.

Games took place each day across two cities from Thursday, 6 February through to Sunday, 9 February.

FWP MARINERS

The Fremantle Mariners won all four games – two against Queensland Thunder and two against New South Wales outfit, Hunter Hurricanes

We caught up with coach, Adam Richardson, on how the boys went this round:

How are the Mariner’s feeling after winning all their games over Round 3?

We are happy we won all games, but the four games make the trip hard, particularly when some of our experienced players couldn’t come. We expected the teams we played will be down the bottom of the ladder at the end of the season, so it was important for us to win these games to ensure we qualify for the finals.

What kind of preparation did the team need to get through the travel demands for last weekend?

We didn’t do much different to other years, but we took an extra player across to help over the 4 games.

How do you think the other teams are performing this season so far? Is there a team to watch out for at this point of the competition?

The teams are really split into five good teams and five weaker teams. All we need to do is win against the weaker teams to ensure we make finals. There it’s a different game and anyone can win.

Are there any take-aways or notes for the team heading into Round 4?

We will have to rotate some players to give people an opportunity and see how they go. We also have two of our more experiences players back for this week, which will be good.

This is another hard week, with four games in a row. How do you think the Mariners will match up to the ACU Cronulla Sharks and Sydney University in Round 4?

Cronulla are rebuilding their team, so we should win both of these games while Sydney Uni are one of the best teams in the league. We will need to play well if we want to win.

FINAL SCORES:

Thursday 06/02 – Fremantle def. QLD Thunder 14-4

Friday 07/02 – Fremantle def. QLD Thunder 12-11

Saturday 08/02 – Fremantle def. Hunter Hurricanes 19-13

Sunday 09/02 – Fremantle def. Hunter Hurricanes 12-10

QUBE PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Joel Swift


FWP MARLINS

After an initial loss on in their first game, the Marlins won all 3 games remaining games last week against Queensland Thunder and Hunter Hurricanes.

We sat down with coach, Katie Finucane, on how the girls are feeling after Round 3:

It was a big road trip last week, what were spirits like after the initial loss to Queensland Thunder on the Thursday?

We re-grouped after the first game, looked at what worked for us and what didn’t so we could make the necessary changes the next day. We felt confident that we could improve our game and come out with a win the following day, which we did!

What confidences did the girls take after the Friday win?

It was good to see that the ladies were able to reset after the initial loss and go in to the second game fresh. We started very strong and although we let them creep back into the game a bit in the final quarter, we played 3 solid quarters of water polo. Going goal for goal swapping the lead in the last 2 minutes I think has aged me a few years, but thankfully Zoe Arancini scored the final goal from over halfway on the buzzer – winning us the game and not giving Thunder any time to respond. Also, thankfully I am naturally youthful looking!😉

How did the Marlins feel after the huge win at the Hunter Hurricanes games?

The wins against Hunter were a great opportunity for our younger players to show what they bring to the team and they didn’t disappoint.

How do you feel the season is shaping up for the Marlins coming out of Round 3?

I think we have shown that we have a real chance and not to be taken lightly.

This is another hard week with 4 games in a row here at home. How do you think the Marlins will match up to the ACU Cronulla Sharks and Sydney University over Round 4?

I think that this will be one of, if not the, toughest round of our whole season. They are both quality sides but hopefully we can come off with some wins and set ourselves up in a good position for the rest of the season.

FINAL SCORES:

Thursday 06/02 – QLD Thunder def. Fremantle 9-6

Friday 07/02 – Fremantle def. QLD Thunder 10-9

Saturday 08/02 – Fremantle def. Hunter Hurricanes 18-6

Sunday 09/02 – Fremantle def. Hunter Hurricanes 15-3

UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME AUSTRALIA PLAYERS OF THE ROUND: Zoe Arancini and Sarah Siepker

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1v1: Mariner’s Captain, Joel Swift

We caught up with Mariner’s captain Joel Swift about last Friday’s game details and teams to look out for in the 2020 season.

What was it like playing against rivals, the UWA Torpedoes, last week?

I think it’s always interesting playing them. They always rise to the occasion, and regardless of where the teams end up on the ladder it’s always a competitive match. Obviously, their coach has coached a lot of our Fremantle players when they were juniors so know a lot of tendencies and game plans. They are a younger team now but have some import players that are capable. It was a challenging game; I would have imagined it being a lot easier. I was a little shocked in the first quarter but remained level-headed, so I was ready to go. I think they will catch a few teams by surprise this season I think.

What was that half-time chat like?

Keep your head. and I think we realised that we hadn’t played any competitive games since April last year to be perfectly honest. Just keep doing what you’re doing. We were getting nice shots, just not converting or we were dropping a pass, or making a crunch mistake. Just keep pushing on with the game plan, which became evident in the 3rd and 4th quarter when things started turning our way.

What was it like having such a great crowd watching that game?

It’s always good getting people down here, I always really enjoy the crowd and the atmosphere. Especially for the first game of the season. We have a lot of new sponsors so it’s new people to water polo. They’re usually surprised by the aggressiveness or the sport in general, it’s always a great vibe. I always enjoy the first game where a lot of the crowd is learning the game and it’s a different atmosphere.

Who were some strong player’s in Friday’s game?

Damien Williams, he came in at half-time for us, our goalkeeper. That certainly changed the momentum, just a different look in the goals. Only conceded one goal which was huge for us turning it around. Pete Tomasevic who played a strong defensive role in centre back, controlled the game and settled the team down a lot.

What do we have to look forward to in the 2020 Season?

I think it’s going to be a competitive season. Most people believe that the Wests (UNSW Wests Magpies) and Drummoyne (Drummoyne Devils) are going to be the teams to beat. I also think that Sydney Uni (Lions) and ourselves are going to be looking for that top spot. There’s a lot of experience in our team and can mix it with anyone in the top as we’ve proved in the past. I think it’s going to be an exciting season, a very close season. There’s going to be a lot of upsets to be honest. The young teams are learning and always eager to win. It’s going to be a close competition but being the start of the season there’s not really any favourite at the moment.

Are you looking forward to the road trip today?

I am! We’re getting over to Brisbane and Newcastle, playing those teams. They’re young, developing teams which is challenging. Newcastle is unfamiliar, they’ve had a lot of changeover, a few of the guys have transferred to Balmain, so I’m not too sure what to expect there. Brisbane will be interesting, as I know there’s a few injuries over there, I’m not sure how they will look but I believe they’ll be fit. We’re in for a battle.

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1v1: Marlin’s Captain, Zoe Arancini

We caught up with Marlin’s captain Zoe Arancini about what she’s been up to since last season, her thoughts on last Friday’s game and how she thinks the Round 3 games will go.

So, Zoe, how’ve you been since we saw you last season?

Really good. It has been a bit hectic the last few weeks with the AUS v USA test series held in Brisbane, but the preparation went well for the team.  This AWL season is very short compared to usual as it is an Olympic Year so whilst it is very compact for us our preparation is important.

What was it like playing against rivals last Friday, the UWA Torpedoes?

It’s always a big event, you know, cross-town rivals. It’s always been a bit big since UWA and Melville came together, but it’s a fantastic atmosphere. Whether the game is here at Melville or at UWA, the crowd gets behind it so having it on Friday was quite special, especially having the sponsor function here as well. We were able to showcase water polo in WA and it was a good opportunity for the best Western Australia athletes to play.

How do you think the game went?

It was a slow start, which was expected considering it was the first game, probably a bit of nerves, some girls are a bit rusty considering. All-in-all, at the end it was a solid game and a solid win which sets us up for a good season – it was a good opener for us.

Who did you think the strongest players were in the game?

For our team I think Jess Zimmerman played quite well. Certainly, she was a centre back, she was able to keep them quiet and she was good on attack also. I also think Kelly Parks, one of our experienced players did a good job in getting in and playing centre forward. In general, most of the players in the squad played well, it was good to see.

Sounds like it’s shaping up to be a good season…

Yes definitely, I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be quite a difficult season for us. A lot of players that were playing overseas in other clubs have come back to Eastern States Clubs, so it’s raised the competition again, but looking forward to it.

What’s it like playing such a compact season in 2020?

It’s very unusual, we’ve never had to play so compact before. Usually in the past, Eastern States teams come across and we play two games, now we have two Eastern State teams coming across each round and we’re playing four games in a row which is quite gruelling. Especially considering we will be required to this most weeks. It doesn’t leave much time for training and recovery. It will be an interesting test to our fitness but at the same time it will be nice that it’s quite compact. At least from my perspective it allows some of us strong preparation for the Olympics. It’ll make for an exciting season and it will be interesting to see who survives!

Are you looking forward to the road trip this week?

I am! It’s a gruelling travel weekend as Hunter isn’t anywhere close to Sydney. The first two games will be interesting, obviously Queensland Thunder were the winners last year and we played them in the grand-final. They lost their goal-keeper who is obviously in the National team, but they’ve also gained a goal-keeper who played with me in Rio (Olympics). She brings a lot of experience to them. It’s shaping up to be some good and tough games.

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Fremantle Water Polo raring to go ahead of tonight’s Western Derby season opener

The 2020 AWL season is kicking off tonight as the Fremantle Water Polo (FWP) plays the UWA Torpedoes (UWA) at the Western Derby.

They’ll be facing off these long-time rivals from 7pm. There is a long standing rivalry between the two teams and it will be challenged from the first whistle here at the Bicton Pool.

Mariners Star Will Mackay unleashes his shot in last years home derby

Hear from Mariner’s coach Adam Richardson ahead of tonight’s game:

How do you think the Mariners will play this 2020 season?

I think it is going to be a tough season, but we’re looking to play for a medal in finals – it will be a challenge to get into the Gold Medal match, particularly with the strong teams coming out of Sydney, but I think we are competitive and can beat any team on any given day.

Give us a rundown of how you expect the Mariners to compete in the game tonight?

UWA have a developing team with 3 imports so it is hard to say how they will play, as we haven’t seen 3 of the players that will play, at all. We certainly cannot take any team for granted; however, I think we will walk away with a win.

What are the strengths of the Mariners?

We have reasonably experienced list compared to other teams in the league. The core players have played together since they were 14, so they know each other’s game and are great mates outside of the water.

Are there any weaknesses heading into the season?

The major weakness for our team at the moment is that we have not had any competitive games since the final series last year and we have a very condensed season which does not leave us long to get into gear.

How has preparation been heading into the first game of the season?

Preparation for this season has been a challenge this year due to player commitments, such as junior world champs which saw two of our player away for 2 weeks, our import arriving in the middle of Jan and other players returning from overseas. The last six weeks have been good as we have had an opportunity to build on our tactics from last year.

What can we look forward to this 2020 Season at FWP?

This season we have a new import Pol Barbena Triola, who hails from Spain. He played professionally in the Spanish First Division for Mataro where he was a top goal scorer, and we think that his inclusion will be a bonus for the Mariners as this was an area for improvement from last years’ final series. This season will be different as we have had senior players retire, which has created an opportunity for some of our younger players to step up, namely Cody Smith who will play CB for the first time in AWL this year.  Over the off season, a number of our junior players have travelled with the Australian Junior Men’s team and we look forward to their contributions and to them developing consistency in their game.

Marlins Veteran, Kelly Parks puts one in the back of the net during last years home derby

Hear from Marlin’s coach Kate Finucane ahead of tonight’s game:

How do you think the Marlins will play this 2020 season?

I think the Marlins will build on a strong 2019 season. We have key player and Stinger Squad member Jess Zimmerman back from Italy where she has played for the last few years. Our other Australian Stingers – Lilian Hedges and Zoe Arancini have also returned for another AWL season, and I am really excited as our senior playing group is really strong and they have also been playing together for a number of seasons. It is also great to see the commitment from our up and coming junior players, I think we have a great chance to improve on our Silver Medal from last year.

Give us a rundown of how you expect the Marlins to compete in the game Friday?

I expect the girls to play to win and I’d like to see the new tactics that we have been developing being put to the test in a real game situation against a quality opposition like UWA Torpedoes.

What are the strengths of the Marlins?

Marlins have a solid defensive structure and combined with Aussie Stinger, Lillian Hedges in goals I like to think we won’t give away any easy goals.

Are there any weaknesses heading into the season?

If we do have any weaknesses, I will definitely keep it under wraps in the case of an opposition club reading this interview!

What’s been your prep heading into the first game of the season?

Preseason started in September and in the early days we were working on a lot of conditioning, shooting under pressure and legwork, but as it draws closer to the season opening we have focused on solidifying tactics and game play.

What can we look forward to in the 2020 Season for FWP?

We have had two solid seasons together where we achieved bronze then silver medals in the finals series and these experiences have put us into a great position going forward, as not many other AWL Clubs have a group of girls that have played together for as long as we have. As it is an Olympic year, and therefore a shorter season, everyone will be going hard from game one, so every game is crucial.

See our 2020 teams here – 2020 Fremantle Water Polo Teams

Come down to the pool and support Fremantle in what is shaping up to a be a huge night of AWL Waterpolo. Gates open at 6pm.

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Fremantle Water Polo hosts star studded exhibition match

On Saturday December 30th Fremantle Water Polo were the hosts of a seriously talented line up featuring water polo players from all around the world. The match took place on a beautiful 32 degree day at the famous Bicton Pool, with fans flocking down to see the show.

The most dominant player in the water was Fremantle Mariner Aaron Younger, whose skills and fitness were a cut above the rest. Younger is currently the captain of the Australian national team, the Aussie Sharks, and is overseas playing for Ferencvárosi Torna Club in Hungary. Younger is currently rated as one of the best water polo players in the world, having an outstanding year where he helped drive his club to their first Hungarian Cup in 22 years.

Secondly there is Gergely Kiss, a 3 time Olympic gold medalist who currently plays for Budapest Honved in the Hungarian Championship. Although Kiss is a bit older than the other players, he showed many glimpses of his talent that has him rated as one of the best ever left handed players in the world. Kiss is famous for his performance in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where he dominated against Serbia and Montenegro. Kiss scored the game-winning goal on a power play opportunity, and went on to be voted in the all-star team for that year.

Beautiful Day at Bicton Pool

Other members of the star studded line up include:

Tim Neesham: Fremantle Mariner and 3 time Australian Olympian.

Laurie Trettel: Former Fremantle Mariners Goalkeeper and current Head Coach of the Fremantle Mariners. Laurie chose to play in the field for the majority of the game.

Joel Swift: Fremantle Mariner and Rio 2016 Olympian

Luke Pavillard: Fremantle Mariner who is currently playing in the US for University of the Pacific in the US

Andy Taylor: former Fremantle Mariners captain and Australian Olympian

Paul Neesham: Legendary former Fremantle Mariner and Club Secretary. Although very brief, his inclusion in the game was noticed by all.

Tim Putt: Australian Sharks Representative from the UWA Torpedoes, who is currently overseas playing for Rijeka in Croatia.

The day was enjoyed by all, especially past players who shared a drink with each other and reminisced on old playing days. It was also a great spectacle for the younger boys and girls who are aspiring Fremantle players to see some of the best water polo players in the world putting on a show.

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2019 Fremantle Water Polo Coaches Introduced

We are pleased to introduce our official coaches for the 2019 AWL Season: Laurie Trettel (Mariners) & Katie Finucane (Marlins).

Both coaches have been involved with Fremantle Water Polo for many years since starting in Flippa Ball, and are highly experienced coaches and players. Laurie, being a National Representative and 5 x NWPL champion, and Katie being an Australian Representative and 5 time AWL champion.

We are very grateful to have such experience and talent on board in Katie and Laurie, and wish both coaches all the best for the upcoming season!

Katie Finucane (Marlins)
Laurie Trettel (Mariners)
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Season Launch

On Saturday November 3rd, Fremantle Water Polo (FWP) held their highly anticipated season launch. The night began with guests sharing a drink on the iconic balcony of the Melville Water Polo Club (MWPC) over looking the Swan River. A club rich in history, tradition and success, the Melville WPC are the driving force behind Fremantle Water Polo, representing 26 of the 28 athletes that participated in the 2018 finals series.

Fremantle WP are represented in the Australian Water Polo League with two teams; the Mariners (Mens), and the Marlins (Womens). It was with great excitement that Melville WPC President Robert Neesham unveiled the 2019 players and coaches of both the Mariners and Marlins, boasting their new re-branding in a refreshed logo.

The logo captures the unique Fremantle identity, bringing together the port city community in a uniting force going forward. The current crop of players has a balanced mixture of youth and experience, led by coaches Katie Finucane and Laurie Trettle. Both coaches are excited about the potential of the group to reach great heights in 2019.

“Our Fremantle teams are among the most successful in the Australian Water Polo League having won 7 men’s championships and 5 women’s championships respectively.  Fremantle holds the record for the most consecutive grand final appearances, with our most recent results a very creditable silver in the men’s and bronze in the women’s”. -President Robert Neesham. 

Robert made special thanks to their major sponsor Qube, who have been loyal supporters of the club for a long period of time. He also gave special thanks to all the guests who attended and encouraged them to get on board for what is going to be an exciting journey for the club.