In the women’s very close competition, the Aussie Stingers are definitely a team you want to avoid. One of their star players, Keesja Gofers, shared her expectations for this World Championships.
Could you gives an overview of your group opponents?
Italy is our first game, they are coming off the back with a silver medal from Superfinal in Budapest and they will want to continue their good performance in Gwangju. We meet lost against them in Budapest, but we hope that we can prepare better and reverse the result in our favor on World Championships. So we are really looking forward to that big opening game.
Then we got China, they are always tough opposition. And our former coach is on their bench, so that is really a unique problem for us because he can obviously prepare them better for our play. It is always a really good game.
Japan is a fast and mobile team. This is a test run for their Olympic campaign in Tokyo and they are putting a lot of efforts in good preparation so we really mustn’t underestimate them.
This is really a well-rounded group and surely there will be some great water polo.
Which elements of the game does Australia need to improve to be ready for the World Championships?
We are hoping to improve on how we gel together as a team, implement these new rules and maybe as well work on our extra man play. Individually and as a team, we can improve a lot so we can come to World Championships fully prepared and give everything we got.
What is Aussie Stingers goal on this World Championships?
You can’t look too far ahead, so our goal is to take it game by game. It would be awesome to come top of the group and to get that extra day off. Since the international competition is really tough, that extra rest can really help later down the track. We just need to focus on playing our best water polo and have we can work the best as a team.
Team USA is again the no.1 favorite. What does it take to beat them and who are the teams who are capable of stopping the US Women?
Obviously the USA qualified for Tokyo 2020. as the first women’s team too and they will be very confident in this tournament. There are 8-9 teams that are quite close and on a good day, they can beat them if they stick to their gameplay and keep a close score during the match. If we match up against the USA I have full confidence in my girls that we can make it a really big challenge for them and beat them. This World Championship is going to be a great experience for us Aussie Stingers and we can’t wait to get going.