6th June 2016
After beating Crawley, London Invicta, Northampton, Watford, Welsh Wanders and Manchester to qualify for the finals weekend in Mancheter in April 2016, Sedgefield under 17 boys team defeated Caledonia 12-10 in the semi final and Sheffield 15-7 in the final to lift the National Champions trophy for the second year running. This was a fantastic result for the club, who have won 3 National Water Polo titles in the last 18 months. Of the 16 teams in the competition they are also the only team that train in a shallow pool.
Three members from the club, Kris Egginton, Connor Keeble and Michael Cousins who are all 15 years old were in the England under 17 team for a tournament in Vienna recently and Emily Pilkington (16 years old) was selected as captain of the England under 17 team in a tournament in Denmark this year.
More information on Sedgefield Water Polo Club can be found here: Sedgefield Water Polo Club
21st March 2016
The U18's North East girls squad have been our most successful age group in recent years. They were crowned Inter Regional Champions in 2014 under then head coach Ian Richards, who gained success with the girls by ensuring early preparation and match practice. However, due to the finishing positions of the North East girls teams in 2015, the U18's squad were to be placed in division two for their 2016 campaign. This was a disappointment to the girls, meaning they could not defend their title from 2014, but they put this aside and determined to give their very best performance.
One of the parents offered to take the team manager role and Mark Sutcliffe, who had good knowledge of this group of girls, agreed to be head coach, with Heather Hall as assistant coach.
There followed full commitment from every girl and every parent from October 2015 attending practice matches and training sessions. All travel and pool time was self funded. We would like to thank various clubs who were prepared to accommodate us in their own pool time - City of Leeds, Rotherham Metro, City of Sheffield and Hucknall WPC.
The Regional tournament took place at Northampton on 27/28th February 2016. The first match for the girls was against Wales. This was a competitive match, but they secured a 9-4 win with some good goal scoring. Their second match was against the East and saw the girls apply themselves to the team tactics very well, producing effective defence and a 6-1 win. The third match was won 7-4 against Scotland, again the girls showed a mature approach carrying out the team plan.
Day two of the tournament saw the girls dominating against the South East with many of the girls scoring goals. Another win 11-0. The last game was against a very physically strong Irish team who we knew would be challenging. Tensions ran high throughout the game and we found ourselves 3-4 down towards the end of the game. A late equaliser gave us a thrilling finish with a 4-4 draw securing us an overall win on goal difference.
Special mentions to Sophie Jackson who was awarded the best goalkeeper of the tournament award and our captain, Emily Pilkington, who was most valuable player of the tournament. A fitting end to a very successful and enjoyable weekend. Well done to all the girls, coaches and parents for their commitment and hard work throughout. The girls have gained promotion to division one for next years Inter Regional competition - congratulations!
The team consisted of:
1. Sophie Jackson - Halifax
2. Annabeth Pycroft - York
3. Amber Linney - Rotherham
4. Lucy Rodgers - Rotherham
5. Isabelle Lacy - Leeds
6. Phoebe Jarvis - Rotherham
7. Eleanor Sowerby - Leeds
8.Emily Pilkington - Sedgefield
9. Terri Millington - Sedgefield
10. Giulietta Lane - Leeds
11. Claire Harrison - Leeds
12. Lauren Richardson - Leeds
13. Panna Csano - Sedgefield
March 1st 2016 - Report by John Stephenson
After a successful campaign in July 2015 of the North East boys 2000's squad becoming champions of the Under 16's inter regionals in Cardiff, a plan was put into place to progress the other boys teams in the North East. This consisted of early trials and as much practice as a team as possible to ensure the best outcome for each age group. We also wanted consistency of Head Coaches and Team Managers and the opportunity to develop young assistant coaches who could lead North East Teams in the future.
Progression of this plan started with the 2002's North East boys coming together early as a squad with lots of practice matches ready for the under 14's tournament in Walsall in December 2015. Lots of commitment from coaching staff, team managers and parents helped bring the plan together which ended in success as the Under 14's boys won this tournament.
Building on the success of the 2000's a decision was taken to enter two teams into the Under 18's tournament in February. This would enable us firstly to play a younger squad in Manchester in preparation for the upcoming 2001 tournament later in the year, along with keeping the rest of the 2000 squad together in preparation for the 2000 tournament in February 2017.
Under 18's Watford 27th & 28th February 2016
Preparation started early and consistency of Head Coach (Richard Cousins) and Team Manager (John Stephenson) from the 2000's squad was kept with input for team selection from Martin Kelly and Richard Cousins Sheffield Beacon Coaches. Again a younger Assistant Coach was picked for future development within the North East set up.
Due to the distance, support was given by the North East to travel down on Friday Night in preparation for the tournament starting Saturday morning. With a young squad consisting of 5 born 99's, 7 born 2000's and 1 born 2001 the expectation was to stay in Division 1 ready for the born 2000 tournament in 2017. This would be done by taking each game at a time, and looking to build and get stronger as the tournament progressed.
The first game up was against a strong and physical Irish team that are competing in the 8 Nations tournament in Vienna. In a very even encounter a last minute goal enabled the North East to come out on top 9-8 winners. The second game we came up against one of the tournament favourites North West Tigers. Going into the last quarter 6-6 and with confidence growing, 3 more North East goals followed and even a late goal from the North West couldn't stop the North East from coming out on top 9-7.
Going into Sunday knowing a win would possibly secure the title all the lads showed their talent and commitment by coming out 12-9 victors against South West. Last up London Sharks with one hand on the trophy, could the lads maintain their 100% unbeaten record. The answer was yes totally dominating the game, they came out 10-6 winners.
I have to say that Richard Cousins (Head Coach) and James Pratt (Assistant Coach) got every game tactically spot on. I also have to say what a fantastic group of lads they are who are totally committed to Water Polo and are a credit to all their coaches and clubs. The future of North East Water Polo is looking very bright!
The winning team are:
Will Mardlin - City of Sheffield
Haydn Wilkins - Huddersfield
Kris Egginton - Sedgefield
Michael Cousins - Sedgefield
Connor Carpenter - City of Sheffield
Dev Sacmacioglu - City of Sheffield
Issac Wass - Castleford
Michal Kucharski - Rotherham
John Pratt - Sedgefield
Connor Keeble - Sedgefield
Dan Hunt - Rotherham
Oliver Jewitt - City of Sheffield
Ben Stephenson - Sedgefield
January 21st 2016
The ASA has published a comprehensive guide to help water polo players from across the country find university scholarships.
The ASA Water Polo Scholarship Guide centralises the range of sports scholarships and bursaries available to water polo player at universities in from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The interactive guide provides players with information about the opportunities available for players from full scholarships offering financial incentives, one-to-one coaching, strength and conditioning training, physiotherapy and nutritional support, to bursaries with full gym membership.
It also details information about university gym and pool facilities, university water polo teams and links to the relevant contacts for more information.
The guide is available on the ASA Water Polo Hub.
January 4th 2016
Scott Carpenter, 27, of Sedgefield Water Polo club based at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre and who started playing the game at 5 years old, has achieved many great things in his Water Polo career that have totally transcended the amateur game in this country. For the past 4 years he has been a professional player in Australia with the Victoria Tigers in Melbourne and has had rave reviews for his play despite being injury hit over the last two years. He lead the Tigers to the National League double in 2013 and became the first foreign player to do this and as captain.
Scott started the National League off in great style in 2015 in Australia and was on course to break the long standing goal scoring record till after 9 games his long standing finger injury re-occurred. This kept him out from March till September. This was very frustrating as he had also missed most of 2014 with major shoulder surgery. Scott was considering retirement at this stage.
His coach and owner of the Victoria Tigers in Melbourne, Jeff Barrow, described Scott as good enough for any international or club side in the world.
He was targetted by Australia water polo to be fast tracked through the Citizenship process in just two years instead of the usual 4/5 years after glowing endorcements from the CEO and Performance Director of Australian Polo, so hopefully if injuries allow he is now available to play in the Olympics in 2016 in Rio.
Scott was picked to play against Japan in a 3 test series in November for Australia in Sydney but was forced to withdraw due to illness. Fortunately still not fit he was picked to play against Olympic silver medallists Italy in December when he made a very encouraging debut for Australia with a 10-9 win and Scott managed 2 goals.
Scott still holds all the goal scoring records in GB for Junior and Senior polo and played over 100 times for GB. He was the tournament top scorer in the European B's in 2009. Famously despite the coaches and players being desperate for him to play in the Olympics in London in 2012 for GB he was ruled out because he had based himself in Australia instead of Europe by UK Sport. Scott was also a professional player in Barcelona for a year and has turned down contracts from all of Europe's top leagues because of the lucrative offer and lifestyle opportunities in Australia.