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.
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.
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.