Serbia and Italy Training Trip
JULY 21, 2012
We just got back from a two week training trip. The first part of our trip we were in Partizan, Serbia. We went there to train with one of the best Serbian Club water polo teams named Partizan. The club Partizan has won multiple European Cup Championships and has some of the current Serbia National Team members on the team as well. This part of our training trip gave us a great chance to train against a team that was going to play Serbian-style like their national team would in the Olympics. We did not have an official game with them, but we did have numerous training games and 6 on 5 and 5 on 6 practices with each other. I think it gave us a chance to see where we were at condition-wise and tactically and give us insight on what parts of our game we needed to tune up.
We then continued our trip to Recco, Italy. This was an amazing treat for me because I lived in Recco, Italy for two years with my wife when I played professionally for the club Nervi. It was great to be back where I lived for such a long time and see my old friends and familiar places. We actually got to go as a team and see some of the small towns that I used to hang out in with my wife. Above is a picture of the team after a team dinner in the town of Camogli. Camogli is a great beach town just above Recco that I used to go to with my wife at least twice a week. We were there so often because Ricardo Azevedo coached the club team Camogli and one of my great friends Jeff Tyrrell played for that team as well. It was great to have such close friends to hang out with when living so far away from home.
It was also a great place for us to train since the club team Pro Recco was considered to be the best in the world and was on its way to winning a European championship with its all-star line up. The team Pro Recco is the most elite water polo team in the world. The reason for this is because they have a budget of around five million dollars per year to pay their athletes. Because of this large budget they are able to have two of the best players from Montenegro, Hungary, Spain, Croatia and then of course the best from Italy. This was great for us to train against them since it is essentially playing an All Star Olympic Water Polo team. We had some great training with them for the week and actually ended the trip with a training game against them that we lost by 1. We learned a lot from this trip and I think it was very beneficial for our preparation towards the Olympic Games in London and winning that gold medal.