What’s new in the Southern Hemisphere?
Water Polo Federation of Australia announced that the head coaches of the national teams, Elvis Fatovic (men’s) and Predrag Mihailovic (women’s) had extended their contracts until the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The contracts with both coaches expire this summer – at the end of the period of four years between two editions of the Olympic Games. But, since the Games in Tokyo are postponed, new contracts were signed. This decision was quite expected. Both coaches obviously have been doing good jobs, so Australia didn’t need to find other solutions.
“The circumstances around COVID-19 has pushed everything back a year, but I’m really happy with how the team has been growing, especially in the last two years. It’s another year for everyone and I’ve been enjoying working with this group, so for me, it was a very easy decision to extend the contract”, said Croat Fatovic, who has been appointed as Australia’s head coach in 2013.
Fatovic led the “Aussie Sharks” to the silver medal at the 2018 FINA World Cup and to the bronze medal at the 2019 World League Super Final.
“For us, the biggest challenge will be long periods without games. But everyone at the moment has that challenge. We’ve become very competitive against all countries in the last few years. In comparison to Rio, I think there will be 8 or 9 nations that will be competitive once we reach Tokyo,” he said for the website of the Australian Water Polo Federation.
Serb Predrag Mihailovic has been coaching the female national team since last year, after serving as an assistant coach. Last year, with Mihailovic on the bench, Australia clinched bronze at the World Championships.
“These circumstances give us an opportunity to see what we could do better. It’s so great to have this chance with a great group of athletes who are very talented and very passionate so I’m excited for the next 12 months,” said Mihailovic.
“I’m very lucky to have the staff around me who have so much knowledge about water polo. We’ve set ourselves a high target for the future, but in saying that we’re taking the time to analyze ourselves, and every day we are trying to be better than yesterday. We’re also taking some time to think about what will happen after Tokyo and starting to establish some plans around that,” he told.
Mihailovic recently named his squad of 20 athletes for the next 12 months, while the men’s squad of 17 that has been in place for some time, will remain in place, the Australian Water Polo Federation concluded in the statement.