LIVESTREAM WATER POLO: Players to Watch
News Corp and Water Polo Australia have teamed up for an unprecedented livestream event featuring more than 160 matches across 16 days national and Olympic trial action in Brisbane starting on Wednesday.
AWL senior championship, the National Youth Water Polo Championships and Green vs Gold Exhibition Series featuring outr Olympians will stream through The Courier-Mail, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun and Adelaide's The Advertiser, plus many of the company regional websites, including the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Water Polo Australia CEO Richard McInnes said the deal with News Corp was the most comprehensive broadcast partnership in the sport's history and provided "a unique opportunity to reach new fans as part of a fully integrated media solution''.
So who will be the key players to watch at the tournament?
DRUMMOYNE Devils (Men)
The Edwards brothers Lachy and Blake are vying for a spot on their first Olympic team, with Lachy recently returning from a stint in Spain in the European water polo leagues. They'll team up with dual Olympian AJ Roach, the son of league great Steve, for the Drummoyne who are on the hunt for the 2021 Australian Waterpolo League title.
DRUMMOYNE Devils (Women)
Hailing from North Queensland, Elle Armit is as tough as they get. Cutting her teeth previously playing in Spanish and Italian Water Polo leagues, Armit will line up with Sydney based Drummoyne Devils, as she continues on her pursuit of a debut Olympic Games in Tokyo.
SYDNEY UNI Lions (Men)
Sydney Uni Men come into the AWL with a lot of confidence having recently won the Sydney Super League. Captain of the Sydney Uni Lions and formidable in goals, Anthony Hrystanthos will look to bring his experience with the KAP7 Aussie Sharks along with fellow Australian teammate Rio Olympian George Ford.
SYDNEY UNI Lions (Women)
The Rio Olympians Hannah Buckling and Keesja Gofers will use their experience to help bolster and lead their Sydney Uni Lions team, as they look to pick up from where they left off in the abandoned 2020 AWL season. They'll be joined by fellow Aussie Stingers teammate and Tokyo Olympic hopeful Tilly Kearns, daughter of former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns. Tilly is looking to carve her own name in the Australian sporting landscape as she looks towards an Olympic debut in Tokyo.
UNSW West Magpies (Men)
UNSW Wests Magpies boasts a wealth of experience, and the most number of KAP7 Aussie Sharks squad members, including triple Olympian Richie Campbell, dual Olympian Joel Dennerley and Tokyo hopefuls Tim Putt, Andrew Ford and Locky Hollis. With the 2020 season incomplete, UNSW Wests are ready to swoop at the chance of claiming back to back premiership titles and will be looking for redemption against cross town rivals Sydney Uni.
UNSW West Magpies (women)
This talented trio have been stalwarts of the UNSW Wests Killerwhales team for a number of years, and as members of the Aussie Stingers Olympic squad Lea Yanitsas, Amy Ridge and Bronte Halligan will form the spine of the UNSW team that will draw on their experience with the national squad to help bolster their club ranks.
QLD THUNDER (Men)
London 2012 Olympic teammates Rhys Howden and Billy Miller are among some of the most experienced players in the 2021 Australian Waterpolo League. With border closures and travel restrictions impacting Rhys' time with the national team, Billy decided to jump back in the pool to help his former national teammate prepare for his fourth Olympic campaign. They'll be joined by Beijing Olympian Anthony Martin.
QLD THUNDER (Women)
Five Aussie Stingers squad members will line up for the home side, Queensland Thunder, in this year's Australian Waterpolo League. Triple Olympian Bron Knox will lead the side who won the title in 2019, as Knox eyes off a history making fourth Olympic Games. Alice Williams and Gabriella Palm have returned home to Queensland after stints with Sydney clubs last year, joining fellow Olympic squad members Abby Andrews and Tenealle Fasala.
BALMAIN Tigers (Men)
London 2012 Olympian James Clark is a defensive champion and will be holding down the fort in goals for UTS Balmain Tigers in AWL 2021. One to look out for in attack is sporting prodigy Joel Smith, who's mum Bronwyn won gold in Sydney 2000 as part of Australia's women's water polo team and dad Damian who is a former Wallaby.
BALMAIN Tigers (Women)
Aussie Stingers captain and two-time Olympian Rowie Webster will team up with national teammate Pascalle Casey for the UTS Balmain Tigers. They'll have confidence in defence knowing Aussie Stingers teammate Gen Longman will be in goals, and will be part of a formidable defensive team.
CRONULLA Sharks (Women)
Aussie Stingers Lena Mihailovic and Maddy Steere are both vying for a spot on their first Olympic team, and will put their training on hold to line up for ACU Cronulla Sharks in AWL 2021.
CRONULLA Sharks (Men)
Next generation of water polo talent to keep watch for in the Cronulla Men's side will be Luke Stimson, Mattia Bognolo and Toby Goldschmidt, who will be out to impress throughout the AWL.
HUNTER HURRICANES (Men)
Water polo is in the blood of the Marsden brothers, Keenan and Mitchell, with their dad Daniel a dual Olympic water polo player. Daniel is also the coach of the Hunter Hurricanes men's side, and will bring his experience to the side as they battle the best in the country.
HUNTER HURRICANES (Womens)
Young guns on the rise, water polo sensations Lexie Burdack, Amali Jarrett and Tasma Woolley will be the ones to watch for the Newcastle outfit during the AWL.
UWA Torpedoes (Men)
A fresh faced UWA Torpedoes will have the benefit of members of the Australian U20s squad with Lachlan Emanuel, Samuel Rowbottam and Matthew Oberman.
UWA Torpedoes (Women)
Rising stars from the west coast, both Tess Hosking and Pippa Pedley were part of a Pathway to Paris squad that were recently in camp with Aussie Stingers on the Sunshine Coast.
ADELAIDE Jets (Men)
Drafted from Tasmania, Hunter Wright will be one to look out for the Adelaide Jets. The Jets will have the benefit of being coached by triple Olympian Raphael Sterk.
ADELAIDE Jets (Women)
With the Adelaide Jets commitment to bringing through the next generation of talent, Tara Logan, Eliza Moroney Plouffe, Tayla Dawkins, Tahlia Scipioni and Alyssa Woolley will be the ones to watch, as they are guided by Sydney 2000 Olympian and former Aussie Stingers Assistant Coach Eddie Dennis.
Rio Olympian and stalwart of the Aussie Stingers, Zoe Arancini of has a wealth of experience which she will bring to the Fremantle Mariners. Her dad Peter will coach the team, with her mum Wendy (former national team player) as team manager.
John Hedges and Nicholas Elphick have been training with the KAP7 Aussie Sharks as part of their Tokyo preparations, with this experience set to prepare them to take it to the best of the best in this years' Australian Waterpolo League.
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Originally published as LIVESTREAM WATER POLO: Players to Watch