The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Waterpolo: Malta National Water Polo Team Kicks off the European B Championships in Manchester

Malta Independent Saturday, 7 July 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 7 years ago

The Maltese national team, sponsored by Wilkinson Sword, will be competing against Belgium in the opening match of the European B Championships, which are being held in Manchester between tomorrow and 15 July.

Tomorrow at 3pm, Malta will be facing Belgium. On Monday 9, Malta plays against Montenegro, Malta then comes up against Belarus on Tuesday, Turkey on Wednesday and Macedonia on Thursday.

Depending on the results during these matches, Malta will be competing against teams from the other group and which are placed in more or less the same position, so as to determine the final classification.

The European B Championships 2007, also known as the LEN European Nations Trophy, is an international water polo tournament, hosted by the Manchester Aquatics Centre, which will see 12 teams from all across Europe battle it out for the European title.

These 12 teams have been split into two groups.

Group A includes Montenegro, Belarus, Turkey, Malta, Belgium, and Macedonia, while Group B includes Great Britain, France, Poland, Ukraine, Israel and Ireland.

The competition will take place over eight days and includes a preliminary round, quarter finals, semi finals and the final game. Each team will play one match per day.

In the past, Malta has been able to achieve good results in this tournament, winning the bronze medal in 2001, and placing fifth in the following edition.

This year, the Maltese team is composed of both experienced and young skilful players who are full of enthusiasm. There are two new members on the team this year, Mark Meli and Jurgen Borg.

“The European ‘B’ Championships are considered to be the highest and most prestigious competition in which our senior national team participates,” said Robert Ebejer, President of the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta (ASA).

Commenting on the chances of the national team, he said:

“I would say that the teams in our group, with the exception of Montenegro, are more or less of the same standard.

“The results depends on our team’s performance on the day.

“I also fear some of our opponents in this group which often resort to strengthen their team by nationalising some players at the last moment.”

About the coach’s selection Ebejer said that this was the best selection possible from the players the coach had at his disposal.

“In these competitions however a solid and strong defence is perhaps more important than a good attack and I would have been happier had we been able to make use of stronger players who usually play in the central defence position, such as David Camilleri, who unfortunately could not join the group.”

Ebejer also thanked the official sponsor of the national water polo team in Malta, Wilkinson Sword.

“Practically all the sponsorship from Wilkinson Sword is being channelled towards the promotion of the sport, and the preparation and participation of the national water polo teams. “Thanks to our sponsor, this year we were able to prepare a programme for both the Senior and Youth national water polo teams.”

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