Dorset players selected for GB Talent 1995/96 Water Polo Squad

Sam Webber. Charlie Roberts, Jackson Mullins

Photo: Seagulls’ England Water Polo Talent Squad Members: Sam Webber. Charlie Roberts, Jackson Mullins (courtesy David Mullins)

Charlie Roberts, Jackson Mullins, Sam Webber (Seagulls) and Connor Aitken (South Dorset) have received an early Xmas present with news of their selections to join the 60 strong GB Talent 1995/96 Water Polo Squad, the highest level achievable for this age group in the UK. The selection is based on performances at the National Academy in the Summer, both in and out of the water.
This squad will form the backbone of a team aiming at the 2011-12 European Junior Championships. A team is only 13 players and there will be further tests of their desire and skill as they train with this squad.
The first training camp will be in Cardiff on 9-10 January 2010.  It will be a fun but serious affair. The squad will be watched both in the pool and out - especially for their ability to be part of the team and to be respectful to coaches.

Seagulls’ water polo coach Rob Webber said: “This is the youngest a player can be selected for GB water polo and to get three players into the talent squad is unreal.  In fact only four clubs in England and Wales have more players in the squad than Seagulls.  When our head coach Barry Alldrick brought water polo into Seagulls in 2005, this wasn’t even part of our dreams.  To be honest, we didn’t even know that this dream existed!”

But he added: “Although this is a great achievement in itself, for Charlie, Jackson and Sam the real work starts here.  They will now attend monthly, weekend-long training sessions with the GB coaches.  They will face regular tests, trials and tournaments and will have to continuously compete for their places over the next two years.  The talent squad will constantly change as it is trimmed to form an elite squad to compete for Great Britain in the European Junior Championships in 2012.”

Seagulls are seen by the ASA as a model of how to integrate competitive swimming and water polo.  The club has shown how high quality, swimmers can be turned into water polo players within an overall competitive swimming environment and still maintain their racing edge.  The club has made rapid progress in its four years in water polo, winning a string of titles in the Dorset leagues and making an impact against more established teams in tournaments across the south.  Several Seagulls players also now play for clubs in Devon and Hampshire.

Rob Webber, who is also Sam’s dad, said: “We have achieved something special at Seagulls - swimming and water polo success simultaneously.  For many of our youngsters this isn’t an ‘either/or’ choice – they enjoy both.  We have had a talented group of youngsters and there are others coming through.  The challenge for Seagulls now is to maintain these levels of achievement in both disciplines.”
Congratulations to the Dorset quartet and their coaches for bringing such an enormous honour to the Clubs and to Dorset Water Polo.  The selections cap a fantastic year for Seagulls, whose swimmers also became Division Two champions in the National Arena Swimming League West in December 2009. Seagulls coach Rod Webber expressed his Club's delight: "We are tremendously proud of what Charlie, Jackson and Sam have achieved so far. But this is only the beginning on a long road to 2011-12.... The hard work starts here!"

Talent Squad selections:

Forename Surname Club Region
Thomas Davis Basildon Habs Essex
Joshua Lay Basingstoke South Basingstoke
Henry Knight Beckenham South West Wickham
Daniel Draycott Bedford E Bedford Bedford
Jason Attwood Bedford E Midland Stevenage
Rory (Ruaidhri) Meghen Bedford E Bedford Bedford
Hamish Scott Birmingham W Midlands Birmingham
Samuel Baker Birmingham W Midlands Hornchurch
Ben Sandford Bolton School N West Skelmersdale
Charles Flanders Bolton School N West Leyland
Drew Winstanley Bolton School N West Skelmersdale
James Salt Bolton School N West Rochdale
Tom Rae Bolton School N West Bolton
David Attwood Bristol Harlequins Gloucester SW Bristol
Sam Gray Cardiff Wales Cardiff
Andrew Robinson Carlisle NW Lancaster Carlisle
Kieran Harrison Carlisle NW Lancaster Carlisle
Noel Howson Carlisle NW Lancaster Carlisle
Thomas Grieve Carlisle NW Lancaster Carlisle
Christopher James Carmarthen Wales Dyfed
Iain Greig Cheltenham Gloucester SW Cheltenham
Jack Arthur Cheltenham Gloucester SW Gloucestershire
Jonathan Hatton Cheltenham Gloucester SW Wootton under Edge
William Strachan Cheltenham Gloucester SW Gloucester
Adam Woods City Durham NE N Aycliffe Spennymoor
Antony Walsh Clissold Habs London
Ben Dubben Croydon Amphibians South
Jack Beddoes Croydon Amphibians South Croydon
Joshua Hampson Croydon Amphibians South London
Joshua Capon Croydon Amphibians South
Stephen Mathews Frome Gloucester SW Warminster
Nick Truelove Halifax NE / Sheffield Halifax
Young Gawthorpe Halifax NE / Sheffield West Yorkshire
Cameron Gabriel Harlaxton Lincs E Midland Lincolnshire
Toby Fraser Haywards Heath South Sussex
Wesley Connellan Haywards Heath South Sussex
Dominic Hudson Hucknall E Midland Hucknall
Jack Wilkins Huddersfield NE / Sheffield Huddersfield
Ben Walker Lancaster NW Lancaster Lancaster
James Alker Lancaster NW Lancaster Carnforth
Scott Sharpe Lancaster NW Lancaster Lancaster
Daniel Hudspith Leigh NW Manchester Lancashire
Myles Bell Newark E Midland Newark
Thomas Whiting Newton Abbott Exeter SW Newton Abbot
Jack Slater Royton N West Oldham
Charlie Roberts Seagulls (Christchurch) Exeter SW Bournemouth
Jackson Mullins Seagulls (Christchurch) Exeter SW Bournemouth
Sam Webber Seagulls (Christchurch) Exeter SW Dorset
Philip Redford-Jones Sheffield NE / Sheffield Chesterfield
Sam Maguire Solihull W Midlands Solihull
Connor Aitken South Dorset Exeter SW Weymouth
James Mcfarlane Sutton South Surrey
Lewis Jones Wales Wales Essex
Sam Hooton Wales Wales Abergavenny
Stephan Williams Wales Wales Carmarthen
Daniel Peek Wallasey N West Merseyside
Alex Dorman Warrington N West Warrington
James Williams Warrington N West Warrington
Tom Hadley Warrington N West Warrington
Joseph Jackson Watford Habs London

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21:01:51 23.12.2009
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