THE Far North contingent of the Queensland team are feeling the pressure to deliver medals at the 2018 Australian Country Water Polo Championships in Rockhampton this week.
The tournament started in Rockhampton yesterday, with Cairns sending five representatives: Courtney van Putten, Jesse O’Hara Patrick Giles, Sean Spring and Lee Zanher.
Van Putten and O’Hara will represent the top Queensland side, Queensland Maroon, while Giles, Spring and Zanher will play for Queensland Black, a development team.
The Far North talents are in form leading into the tournament following the recent completion of the Cairns Water Polo League.
Van Putten and O’Hara are looking forward to taking on their home states this week.
“Courtney is an ex-NSW representative and will be changing colours to maroon for the first time after moving to the sunshine state in recent years,” O’Hara said.
“I will be looking forward to going up against my home state of Tasmania, last year’s silver medal winners, for the first time since I left their representative side in 2005.
“I am excited about locking horns with a couple of their senior players who I grew up playing alongside in the Australian National Water Polo League for the Hobart Hammerheads.”
Queensland has its sights on powerhouse NSW, who won gold in both the men’s and women’s in the national competition held in Hobart last year.
The men hope to improve on their bronze medal from last year while the ladies will be aiming for gold after their silver-medal performance in 2017.
“Being the host state this year, there is a bit of pressure on us to match or better that performance,” O’Hara said.