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Watch: Malta U-17 coach Cirovic wants to keep pushing special team

Jayden Cassar (right) shoots at goal against Great Britain. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Milan Cirovic was delighted with the performance of the Malta U-17 national team who booked their place into the European Championship finals for a second time and vowed to keep pushing and bring the best out of his players.

The Maltese youngsters produced a perfect performance in the European Championship qualifiers this week as they managed to finish top of their qualifying group with maximum points after recording victories over Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Great Britain.

This was an historic result for Maltese waterpolo as never a national team had topped a qualifying group without dropping a point.

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

“I am very very satisfied with the performance of this team,” Cirovic told the Times of Malta.

“The players performed at a very high level from the first game till the last. They remain focused and concentrated and doing their best all the time.

“I would like to thank the coaches of the various clubs who have given these players good physical preparation leaving me just needed to put in the final pieces of the jigsaw to ensure this team can produce this result.

“It’s very important for the development of Maltese waterpolo that club and national team coaches work in unison to get the best results.”

During the week, Cirovic was seen always pushing his players throughout matches, even in situations when the team was well in control.

Asked whether he was demanding more of his players, Cirovic said: “In sports that are no easy matches. I always demand from my players that keep a serious approach even if we are winning with a goal difference of ten or more.

“There cannot be any drops in concentration as if we are losing by three or four goals we could lose the game. That is why I want my teams to play all four quarters fully concentrated. This week, I have always tried to put a lot of pressure on my players so they can understand that waterpolo is very tough and if you are not focused throughout they can lose games.”

Cirovic described this generation as a special one.

“This group of players is very good,” Cirovic said.

“They are doing a wonderful job and their mentality is quite different from how normal Maltese players. They behave like soldiers and follow every instruction I give them and I we should continue to push them cause they have a very bright future in front of them.”

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