Volume 1 Number 1          March 1, 2009

Florence.. The last 20 days have been intense with constant reminders from my new coach. 20 days ago we found out that our next opponent for champions cup would be Fiorentina another italian team, which has been the arch rival of my italian club team for the last 5 years. I was excited to go back to this city/pool which has left me some bad memories, the last season i played in italy we lost to this team and at the pool.

The 20 days we prepared were enough to win. We walked away with a 13-9 win. Which puts us in a good position to play at home in about 30 days. As long as we play well we should advance. The florence team needs to beat us by 5 to advance, all is possible but we will only be playing better by then. I will be more familiar with this system of play and in better shape. It was fun to play in a hostile environment where fans were constantly yelling insults at the bench and coaching staff...classic.

Other results from champiosn cup, Glyfada vs vouligameni 7-6, Sabadell vs Kirishi 9-9, Honved vs Ravjin 11-7. All teams will play next game first weekend in march.

I will say, I was nervous and excited to play an important game again. It was nice to feel the butterflies in my stomach before the game and the excitement to show my teammates and new coach, that I still have it in me to play and give them a hand. I was able to contribute both on offense with three goals and on defense. Although, an area for improvement will have to be endurace..Im used to playing an entire game but probably played about 26 minutes at the most. Not to my standard. But I will be there in 30 days. I feel like im in age group water polo all over again, my new coach is a perfectionist and constanly is asking me whether I understand him or his concepts. I do for the most part, Ive played with this team for3 years and most of my teammates played for him on the national team. But he needs to make sure and is constantly calling my name, its classic, Ive become his favorite name to call. But I am learning more, not just the how but more importantly the "why" they do certain things. It was never really explained to me before, i just knew where to be but not why..So, im becoming a student of the italian water polo concepts. Some are different than ours, or what im used to but its just another way, more than one way is correct.

Now this next month in italy for me will be tough, I will not play another game until march 7th. However, Im hoping to be able to meet up my american teammate and friend Betsey who is playing in norther Italy. She will be playing against my team in two weeks. Im curious to see her play with an italian team. I know she will do great, shes a superstar. I know college season is getting started in the US and im excited to follow my olympic teammates Kami and Jessica in college play. I hope I can see them match up agaisnt each other when im back in the states. Good luck to them. Till next time, ciao amici, Brenda.

Nic Molymeux is a 21 year old college student from South Africa and a member of the South African National Junior team. Nic has been gracious enough to share his exploits in the pool with the fans of Talking Water Polo. I am sure Nic will entertain us in the weeks to follow...

Well you can chalk up another point in the victory column :) We played against CN Salerno yesterday and won 12-8. But it was far from easy and actually we were very fortunate in the 4th quarter when the CNS #11 punched our centre defender in the jaw above the water and was ejected for brutality, effectively giving us Extra man for 4 minutes. That pretty much sealed the game for us. But it was definitely not an easy game because we actually only had 9 players and 2 of them were carrying painful injuries to their right arms (not too good considering they are both right handed). One player was in hospital for the flu, another was bed ridden with the flu and our captain was unable to play because he was suspended for 1 match. The rest of our bench was made up of 3 kids, 13, 14, and 15 years old. They didn’t play at all but they were just there to fill our bench and feed us water as often as possible… So that’s what we started the match with, we knew we had an uphill battle ahead of us but in the end we had to win to keep ourselves in the Championship, we had to keep focussed and make sure we pull a win from the bag!! This is a very crucial period for us, in the next 4 games we have to win at least 2 games and they’re really tough! Hold thumbs ;)

Game Synopsis:

The 1st was very tight, they scored 1st and 2nd so we were trailing early. Time to wake up and so we did, we scored the next 2 goals and then they scored again to make it 2-3. Towards the end of the quarter I countered up the left with a CNS player swimming in from the right, I got the ball and swam into his path when we were close to the goals, he swam over me and the 5m penalty was called. We scored and that made it 3-3 at the end of the 1st period.

The 2nd quarter was better for us and I scored the only 2 goals for us in a counter attack where I got the player kicked out for swimming over me again so I quickly passed to Lelio who fed the ball back to me… Goal… Later in the quarter we got an Extra man which I converted. They also scored once so going into the half time break it was 5-4, a slender lead but a lead nonetheless :)

The team was playing well and we kept the momentum from the 2nd quarter and we scored 3 goals to their 2. We could feel the game had shifted in our favour now.

8-6 in the 4th, but now we were running out of steam with only 7 full strength players. That’s when in the 1st minute their #11 punched our centre defender and got rolled (ejected for the game) for brutality which gave us Extra man for 4 minutes and also a 5m penalty to add insult to injury. Score, 9-6 with 7 minutes left. The game pretty much unfolded from there, they scored a couple times but it was never gonna be enough.

So that’s the tale of our win over CN Salerno, a very rewarding win playing with only 7 full strength players. Hopefully we can take the momentum from this win into the next 4 weeks and even more importantly we should be back to a full strength squad next week, I hope… :) Will keep you posted on how this championship unfolds, I’m expecting nothing less than a lot of surprises ;) hehe