Lions begin National League preparation

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The Sydney Uni Women’s Water Polo Club’s (SUWWPC) senior team had a successful start to its National League pre-season with a two-day camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra last weekend. 

Despite missing a couple of players who were present at the State U18 Championships and two additional key players – SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Hannah Buckling (Bachelor of Science) and Tahlia Bogg who were injured – the Lions scrimmaged Water Polo Australia’s Junior Residential Squad over four sessions which proved most beneficial to both teams. 

It was also an opportunity for new Lions recruit Isobel Bishop to meet her new team mates and the Stingers left-hander made quite a first impression, scoring freely in both general and extra-man play.

Champion Lions goalkeeper Lea Barta trained strongly, having just returned from her honeymoon in Thailand. Barta married Australian junior boys coach Andrew Yanitsas just after Christmas and has further celebrated with her selection in the Australian squad to play China in the BHP Billiton Series in Perth in late January. Other Lions named in the squad include Bishop and Sarah Harris.

Whilst the news on Bogg’s hip injury has improved and she’s back in training, Buckling will miss at least the first three National League season games because of a severe shoulder problem.

The Lions next assignment is this week’s Gunnamatta Bay Pre-season Tournament. They play UNSW-Wests Killer Whales in first round action on Thursday night at 6.45pm. 

As is usual in pre-season training the Lions picked up a couple more injuries in Canberra, the most concerning being to captain Keesja Gofers with a hamstring strain. Gofers remains questionable for the Gunnamatta Tournament and the Lions will be taking a conservative approach to her rehabilitation.