From Friday 13th February until Sunday 15th February, 2015, three teams of Sydney Uni players competed in the U14 State Championships in the “Country Music Capital” of Tamworth.
All boys performed exceptionally well and all three teams achieved results well above the expectations of many. With 20 teams competing Sydney Uni teams placed 2nd, 10th and 14th.
On behalf of the Club Executive I would like thank our coaches Mark & Jai McNamara and Lindsay Cotterill for leading the boys for the tournament. Coaching can sometime be a thankless task however I know that success at tournaments like this and seeing the development and enjoyment the boys get from their Water Polo is the motivation that coaches thrive on. Unlike many coaches neither Mark, Jai nor Lindsay have boys in the teams they coach so their commitment is truly for the love of the game.
Sydney Uni Blue: Silver Medallists!
Coach: Mark McNamara. Coaching staff: Lindsay Cotterill and Jai McNamara. Manager: Justin Lowry
Team: Tom Mattefy, Tom Harris, Matt Dyster, Mark Elwaw, Harry Kyrikos, Josh Mercer, Nic Trobec, Nathan Ward, Louis Pidcock, Max Lowrie and Antonio Matruglio.
Win vs UNSW Yellow 16-1
Win vs ACT Yellow 14-1
Win vs Central Coast 6-2
Win vs SNB 4-1
1st in Group
Qtr. Final Win vs ACT 8-3
Semi Final Win vs UNSW 9-6 (Penalties 4-1)
Final Loss vs Cronulla 2-5
59 goals scored 19 against. 6 Wins 1 Loss: Final Placing 2nd from 20 teams.
It was a pleasure to coach these boys over the weekend as they grew in ability and confidence with every game. The Blue team had not had an ideal preparation with a mixture of holidays, illness and boys from the North combining with the Darlington based boys only recently. The boys did not take long to gel and once they understood the game tactics and practised them against some weaker teams first up, we were playing near our peak. We came from 3-5 behind in the last quarter to even up with UNSW Wests in the quarter final and a disallowed goal with 3 seconds remaining added to the excitement and built the tension for the ensuing penalty shoot-out. Goalie Tom Harris was outstanding in this game saving a 5m penalty in normal time and also 4 from 5 penalties in the shootout. His great form continued into the final with further saves and penalty saves. With scores locked at 1-1 at half time and only down 2-3 late in the game, the Cronulla coach admitted that he was very worried about our team and should have paid more attention to us. Several poor decisions from the young referees and a few bad passes at crucial times cost the Lions victory. The final score was 2-5 to Cronulla. The Silver medal has given this team great enthusiasm to step up training and aim for a medal at the April Nationals and revenge against the Sharks. All players were impressive in their various games. Tom Mateffy is to be congratulated for his leadership and strong play and being selected in the ‘Tournament Team. Goalkeeper Tom was extremely unlucky not to be named ‘Player of the Grand Final’ and he was certainly the crowd’s pick. Matt Dyster and Mark Elwaw were consistently among our leading players with Nic Trobec very effective as our C/F and C/B in the finals. Drivers Antonio Matruglio, Josh Mercer, Harry Kyrikos and Max Lowry were tireless in their efforts and were among the goal scorers with Nathan Ward and Louis Pidcock as solid as a rock in defence and attack as our utility players. Congratulations on a fine effort and I look forward to coaching you all when we ‘Go for Gold’ in April on the Gold Coast. I wish to thank Tessa and the Managers of each team for their tireless efforts in organising, managing, supervising and supporting our boys. Thanks to coaches Lindsay and Jai on their fantastic efforts and to Jai, Linz, Paul McJannett for being our referees. Thanks to the volunteer officials and all the travelling supporters for their great support and good wishes. The tour was a real team effort and showed what a great club Syd Uni is in ability, support, playing numbers and results. Lions Roar!
Sydney Uni Gold: Final Placing 10th:
Coach: Lindsay Cotterill. Coaching staff: Jai McNamara and Mark McNamara. Manager: Tessa Green
Team: Austin Wagner, Joel Butcher, Kai Young, Richard Lonsdale, Billy De Luca, Andrew Younes, Ryan Wilkes, Zac Green, Sam Rigby, Louis Grossemy, Drew McJannett and Lachlan Heather.
Win vs O+M/Wagga 7-5
Loss vs Drummoyne 2-13
Loss vs Hunter 2-13
Win vs Parramatta 16-0
3rd in Group.
Win vs SNB White 10-1
44 goals scored 32 against. 3 wins 2 losses: Final Placing 10th from 20 teams.
A large pride of Lions descended on Tamworth last weekend and left with PRIDE. Three wonderful team performances is the best summary of what unfolded. Each team exceeded pre -tournament expectations .
Our BLUE team narrowly lost the final to collect a silver medal against a very strong Cronulla outfit .
Our GOLD team finished ahead of all the other development teams and our cubs proved to be the entertainers. Our depth was shown at every level and this age group will be strong for many years to come.
The friendship and positive environment that was Tamworth this year was a pleasure to be part of by all who attended. Congratulations to Tom Mattefy on his selection in the tournament team.
Next weeks announced State squad will have a few more young lions in it so stay tuned .
Finally, all this was made possible by our fantastic managers Roxy and Tess and our dedicated coaches Mark, Jai, Wil, Fergus, James and Dudi.
Go the Lions
Sydney Uni Lions: Final Placing 14th.
Coach: Jai McNamara. Coaching staff: Mark McNamara and Lindsay Cotterill. Manager: Roxy De Luca.
Team: Phil Tzioumis, Tom Guy, Alex Heintze, Matt Meggitt, Max Churchyard, Harry Churchyard, Geoff Kelso, Sam Matruglio, Grayson Richardson, Oli Jenkinson and Mitchell Westhuizen.
Loss vs ACT Blue 1-13
Loss vs UNSW Black 2-17
Loss vs Cronulla 1-11
Win vs Balmain Black 7-5
4th in group
Draw vs UNSW Yellow 2-2
13 goals scored 48 against. Final Placing 14th from 20 teams.
The U14 Lions team was a mixture of younger boys and top age boys, with varying levels of playing experience. This was due to various reasons including ability, attendance at training, availability for Nationals etc. The senior players were Phil Tzioumis, Tom Guy, Alex Heintze, Max Meggitt and Oli Jenkinson. All these boys played well and led by example in showing the younger players the ‘ins and outs’ of tournament polo. Alex was a standout and with his left handedness proved valuable to the team. Despite having another year in this age group, Grayson Richardson and Harry Churchyard did not look out of place and will certainly be challenging for a place in the top team next year. Mitchell Westhuizens’ swimming ability enabled him to cope very well with his first State Championships and he even contributed with several goals. Sam Matruglio, Geoff Kelso and Max Churchyard were the youngest in the team but performed like veterans and all improved significantly over the weekend’s games. The boys watched, learnt from and supported the other Sydney Uni teams and are enthused to compete at further tournament and have a chance of winning some medals themselves. There was even some fierce brotherly rivalry on the goal scoring front when Sam Matruglio scored the first Uni goal of the tournament and brother Antonio from the Blue team kept chasing his goal scoring tally so as not to be outdone. I would like to thank my assistants Lindsay and Dad, and also to Tessa, Roxy and all at the Sydney Uni club for organising the tour and enabling me to coach this great bunch of future grade players.