Al Jazira Club were crowned Under-16 President’s Cup water polo champions thanks to a convincing 8-2 victory against Al Wasl in the final last weekend.
The competition included five teams from Jazira, Al Nasr (third place), Al Arabi Cultural club (fourth place), Cleopatra Academy and Al Wasl, who played host to the three-day event.
“I’m very pleased with how this competition went and it’s quite evident how the UAE players are getting more and more acquainted with water polo – a sport that is relatively new to the Emirates,” said UAE national water polo head coach, Nikola Radojicic of Serbia.
“As we can see, there are more players taking up the sport and the level of play itself is getting higher.
“I’d like to welcome the Cleopatra Academy to the water polo family here. They are a great addition to the sport and will surely help drive more interest from the local community, which will help us create an even stronger national team in the long run.”
HH UAE President Water Polo Cup Under 16 Years – Dubai from 7 to 9 May 2015 . . . 1 Aljazera 2 Al Wasl 3 Al Nasr pic.twitter.com/6JBZNrobXO
— UAEswimming (@UAESwimming) May 9, 2015
Radojicic, a former goalkeeper for acclaimed Serbian club Partizan, was appointed as national team coach last December, and has been tasked to elevate the level of water polo in the country.
“I constantly meet with the coaches of all the local clubs here to see how we can move the sport forward and the level of coaching as well as refereeing has seen major improvement over the past several months,” he added.
“The rules of water polo allow for the inclusion of two foreign players per squad and that is very important for clubs here because it will allow local talent to learn from a higher calibre of players.”