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Neptunes WPSC hits back at ASA for questioning players’ commitment

Neptunes WPSC said that they were surprised and disappointed by the comments made by the top officials of the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta on Thursday who voiced their hurt and disappointment after four key members of the national team decided not to answer the national team call-up for the upcoming European Championships in Split, Croatia.

Team captain Steve Camilleri, Jake Muscat, Jordan Camilleri and Jerome Gabaretta will not be part of the national team that will be heading to Croatia this month after they informed national coach Karl Izzo that they were unavailable for the tournament.

During Thursday’s press conference, ASA president Joe Caruana Curran and Karl Izzo expressed their disappointment at the players’ decision as they argued that playing for the national team should be an honour for any player. It said that the local governing body of aquatic sport will now focus on its junior players to try and nurture in them the love and passion for the national team.

On Thursday night, Neptunes WPSC issued a statement to hit back on the ASA comments and defend the actions of the players, particularly Steve Camilleri, Jake Muscat and Jordan Camilleri who are on the books of the Balluta Bay club.

“The Club wishes to voice its surprise and disappointment at the comments made by the ASA during a press conference earlier on today, where the integrity, dedication and professionalism of a number of the Club’s senior players was called into question,” the Neptunes statement said.

“The ASA is well aware of the circumstances which led to such senior players reluctantly not being able to represent their country at the upcoming European championships, which circumstances range from serious injuries to an extremely busy waterpolo schedule with little to no respite.

“The Club feels it is unjust, unfair and unwarranted for the ASA to cast doubt on the commitment and honesty of such players who have always given their full and unconditional commitment to their beloved National team.”

During Thursday’s press conference ASA president Joe Caruana Curran said that following this incident the governing body will make sure to take care more of its interests and said that it will no longer delay the start of domestic competitions so that players who ply their trade abroad will be able to compete in them from the start.

Neptunes said that such action from the ASA will hinder local players’ opportunity of plying their trade overseas on a full time basis thus hurting the national team development.

“In addition, the Club is concerned as to the ASA’s announced strategy of hindering local players’ opportunity of plying their trade overseas on a full time professional basis in some of the leading competitions in Europe, which will no doubt negatively impact such players’ growth and development, ultimately adversely affecting the National team,” the statement concluded.

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