Heat is on as girls gear up for country week

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Serpents' Bianca O’Malley wields the water polo ball earlier this month.
Camera IconSerpents' Bianca O’Malley wields the water polo ball earlier this month. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Geraldton will be a strong contender in water polo at country week, with the league’s competitiveness rising.

Composite teams are playing against club sides in the main divisions of the competition to prepare for the regional contest.

Girls travelling to Brisbane next month for the national junior titles would also represent the women’s side, Geraldton Water Polo Association spokesperson Julia Gourley said.

Country week will be held in the last week of February.

“With the country week team, that’s a really strong side, it’s got all the best players from each team. They’re always really good games to watch,” Gourley said.

“Because there are so many elite players throughout WA, it depends who’s back in town. Last year Karratha had Olympian Belinda Brooks playing. Geraldton will be strong contenders. There’s been lots of training.”

She said adding the women’s country week team to the league meant more competitive experience.

“We’re going to be much better prepared for 2020,” Gourley said.

“We’ve really stepped up the training and they’re also included in our weekly league, so they’re getting to play together, which is much better.”

Players from the country week team represent their own club when the two sides meet, with the matches worth points on the club ladder.

Juniors players weren’t worried about representing the region in an open division, Gourley said.

“It’s a tough sport,” she said.

“You wouldn’t play water polo if you weren’t ready for a contact sport.”

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