By Saints Water Polo, Sep 12 2017 10:32AM
Saints Water Polo travelled to Eger, Hungary for a five day training camp, making the most of the incredible facilities and working on our tans in the outdoor pools. A huge thank you to our amazing coaches Ian and Alison for organising it!
Have a watch of what we got up to here
Pre-season began with a rather gruelling 3k swim set followed by an hour polo practice, where the majority of us severely regretted not completing our summer training programme. After a quick relax in the hot tub, we headed for lunch, very excited to have the Hungarian soup again. We then made the climb back up the hill (/those of us who were clever enough waited for a taxi) to our hotel for a quick nap. In the evening the girls scrimmaged against the Eger U16s (they may be young but they're very very good). The women played unbelievably well and came away with a strong win. Special shout out goes to our trio of amazing freshers: Ruby scored goal after goal even with having about 5 players marking her, Nikki managed to play as centre back, preventing so many goals then sprinting up and scoring for us multiple times, and Becky played incredibly well in defence, covering back and helping out the other team members. The men had an extremely tough game against the under 18s, congrats to fresher Hunter for scoring his first goal for the club! They have 6 new freshers this year so are still working out how to play together but with such a strong group of players it will definitely not take long! The day ended with a drink (or two) in the pub for some good old fashioned team bonding and we soon learnt that drinking from a 2ft straw is a lot harder than it looks!
Day two began with swim time trials: 400m, a 25m sprint and a length of eggbeater with hands up. Unfortunately there's no rest for the wicked so we then did 10 x100s before we were allowed to get out. We then took advantage of the sun's brief appearance and worked on our tans before going for lunch. Having eaten, we were taken on a tour of the underground tunnels where they used to store 30 million litres of wine per year. Much to everyone's disappointment there was no longer any wine in the cellars. After a brief nap back at the hotel, the women played a winning match against Eger U18s. Meanwhile the men were given a tough game by the U16s during which fresher GB Joe scored an incredible 'helicopter' goal and once again Hunter made a terrific shot from set. Tired but content we then made our way to dinner, after which we went back to the hotel where we drank the wine gifted to us by Csubba on the balcony.
Day 3 started with twin peaks and 8x50's before too many 100's. The weight balls were pulled out and sunk to bottom along with our hopes. We then took team photos and legos sets were built (with inspiration from Allison). In the evening the women's team had a great win again the Eger seniors team. Many different players scored and Alex had quite a few saves in goals! The men's side mixed their team with the Eger men's seniors and played a close match where they made new friends and learned new skills. After dinner we went out for a wine tasting. Hungary is known for its wine so naturally we had to try some at Eger's best wine cellar. We all enjoyed the wine and we learned interesting facts about each one from Ian. Becky, Chris, and GB Joe treated us all to their fantastic violin playing before we all retreated to bed.
After the wine tasting last night, morning training got off to an excellent start. 20x100s cured all of our hangovers in time for some polo practice. Lunch, the most exciting part of the day, followed which included some unidentifiable soup and some classic chicken in a sauce. We had a very important nap in preparation for the women playing the Eger seniors and the men playing the U14s (don't judge). The women played unbelievably well, with Ruby again scoring some pretty impressive goals and working so well with fellow goal scorer Meg in set. Nikki and Becky, our superstar defenders, managed to prevent so many shots with Nikki also adding a further 3 goals to our tally. For the last 10 minutes we played against the professionals, an amazing experience where got to learn so many new techniques from them. The boys have improved so much throughout the week, putting in a very strong performance against the U14s. The new freshers are really making their mark and have settled into the team so well with Taner, Hunter and Joe all scoring along with Arky and Angus. The day ended with a drink, chips and churros, the best way to end a day.
PRESEASON TRAINING IS COMPLETE
Huge congratulations to everyone for finishing (and not dying)
First off well done to our many amazing new freshers (even if you did show us old ones up). We are so so glad to have all you guys on the team and can't wait to play the season with all of you!
Next, we say a very hard goodbye to our amazing alum Katharyn. We wish you the best of luck with your new job.. pls come visit soon.
And then we say an enormous thank you to our coaches Ian and Alison. Thank you for all the organising, planning (but maybe not the morning swim sets).
Now we are heading back to St Andrews, leaving the Eger outdoor pools behind and really excited for the season to begin!