The Malta waterpolo national team will be stepping up their preparations for their upcoming participation at the European Championship finals when they compete in the Christmas International Tournament at the Cottonera Sports Complex.
Malta, under the charge of Milan Cirovic, will be up against world-class opposition in the form of Italy, France and the Netherlands, with their opening assignment seeing them come up against the Italian ‘Settebello’ under the charge of Sandro Campagna on Thursday evening at 6pm.
Cirovic sounded pleased with his team’s preparations for the tournament and is hopeful to see his players’ ambition to convince him that they deserve a place in the European Championship finals that will be played in Zagreb next month.
“I am really satisfied with the boys,” the Montenegrin coach said.
“They have done a really good job in the past two and a half weeks. They have trained really hard, with almost double sessions every day. The players have been pushing very hard to ensure they reach the best possible conditions for their upcoming assignments.
“This tournament is the perfect opportunity for the players to show that they deserve one of the 15 spots available in our squad for the European Championship finals in Zagreb.
“This team have come a long way since I took over at the start of this year. It’s clear that there has been steady progress in the performances of not only the senior national team but also in the junior categories as our results have shown.
“This has been a concerted effort by not only the players but also every committee member in the ASA. But I believe that there is more room for progress and we will continue to work hard to reach new heights.”
Cirovic says that Malta could not have hoped to play against better opponents as part of their preparations for the Euros.
“Everyone knows how strong Italy are,” Cirovic said, “They have won world, European and Olympic titles and boast an amazing team that is led by one of the most famous coaches in the world – Sandro Campagna.
“On the other hand, France have invested a lot in their domestic league in the past ten years, and their clubs have more their five foreign players on their books. They have a good generation of talented players and have managed to push Spain all the way in the European Championship quarter-finals.
“On the other hand, the Netherlands have also invested a lot of money and have a team full of excellent swimmers who are very strong physically making it very difficult for any team to face them so no doubt it’s a great test for our team.”
Tickets for the SportMalta Christmas Cup can be purchased from the entrance doors at the Cottonera Sports Complex.
Malta vs Italy 18.00
Netherlands vs France 19.45
Malta vs France 18.00
Italy vs Netherlands 19.45
Malta vs Netherlands 18.00
Italy vs France 19.45
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