GOLD... IN PARIS!
On 15 May, Brussels Mannekenfish maintained its European leadership in inclusive water polo by reaching the first step of the podium at the International Paris Tournament. For the first time, the Brussels Mannekenfish Junior team was introduced on the international scene reaching an honorable 13th position. All the players celebrated the victory as one, united by a team spirit stronger than ever.
23 players in two teams
As new players joined the team in September 2015 and January 2016, 23 Mannekenfish joined the Tournoi International de Paris in May 2016. For the first time outside Belgium, Brussels would be represented with two teams at an international tournament. The more experienced players joined the Brussels Mannekenfish while the more recent ones formed Brussels Mannekenfish Junior. The team would play in two different leagues.
'sans faute' for the experienced players
After their victory in Paris in 2014 and in London in October 2015, the Brussels Mannekenfish were expected to run the show in Paris. The two first games against the Copenhagen Mermates (5-1) and the Raies Menteuses -Paris AquaHomo (5-0) confirmed the potential of the team. However, the game against the Moules Bites - Cercle de Natation de Paris (4-1) ended with a bitter-sweet taste with the injury of the Mannekenfish captain, Philippe de Wulf, resulting in his withdrawal for the rest of the tournament. Nevertheless, the team was eager to show that its spirit was still high and finished the first part of the competition with three additional victories against the Chatons - Paris Aquatique (6-0), the Mean Girls - London Orca (6-0) and the Brut - London Orca (6-1). With six victories, the Brussels Mannekenfish were one step away from the top of the podium.
A promising start for the junior team
For their first participation in an international tournament, the Mannekenfish Junior faced a great challenge. The battle was fierce against the Frog Princess of AquaHomo but not successful (1-2). The second game against Gay Swim Amsterdam resulted in a draw (2-2), with a mythic goal from the Mannekenfish Junior goalie. The ShootingCocks - London Orca surpassed the Juniors (0-11) and Active Company also claimed the victory (1-5). The Juniors found in Les Cadettes from Paris Aquatique a strong opponent but let the victory pass once more (0-1). The Mobydicks also mastered their game (0-11). Despite fierce battles, the Brussels Mannekenfish Junior unfortunately ended up the first part of the tournament without victories but the tournament was not other yet.
Succes in the finals
The Juniors were the first ones to play their final against the Mean Girls. Months of practice, high spirit and concentration resulted in the first victory of the team (5-0) securing the 13th position. But the ranking did not mattered to them. They showed throughout the tournament that they were able to play together and succeed, opening the way for future victories.
The tension was higher for the Mannekenfish who were to meet the Mobydicks from Paris Aquatique on their ground. The game ended up being physically demanding on both sides. The Mannekenfish took the lead and maintained it at high price during the first half. After the break, they managed to get ahead without the Mobydicks being able to catch up. After a fierce battle, they reached the gold medal (8-6) for the second time in a row at a European inclusive water polo tournament.
Visit from Paris Aquatique
On Saturday 27 February, the Brussels Mannekenfish welcomed players from Paris Aquatique for a friendly game. After partying the night before, most of the players needed some time to warm up in the pool. At 6.30pm David started assuming the difficult task of referee and the game was on.
Each team took the opportunity to test its own tactics and goals were scored on both sides with no one paying attention to the results. Our guests from Paris discovered the difficulty of playing in a pool having a shallow part. It was hard for some of them not to stand! As the players wanted more, the game ended up having the original format of 5x8 minutes.
After the game, the Mannekenfish introduced their guests to Belgium cuisine as everyone shared a copious dinner at the Restobières. The most courageous ones continued the night with drinks in Pink Street and a vist to Maman.
The Mannekenfish thank all the players from Paris for their visit and are looking forward to meeting them again at the Tournois International de Paris in May!
GOLD IN LONDON!
After Bronze in 2013 in Amsterdam and Silver in 2014 in Brussels, the Mannekenfish reached Gold in London on Halloween for the 2015 edition of the European Champagne Tournament. The competition was fierce all day long. The final battle against London Orca A reached a climax with an intense penalty session (3-1) due to a draw 2-2 after the time limit.
Before London Orca A, the Brussels Mannekenfish had to play six games in order to reach the final. It started well at 10 this Saturday morning with a victory 7-0 against Manchester B. The second match did not start well for Brussels with Paris AquaHomo leading 2-0. However the Mannekenfish recovered their concentration and ended up winning 7-3. The third game against London Orca Chariots was also successful ( 6-1).
In the meantime, Paris Aquatique A and Amsterdam ended their match with a draw putting additional pressure. The Mannekenfish knew then that they had at least two very competitive games ahead. Although Paris Aquatique A offered a strong resistance, the Mannekenfish fought harder ending up with another win 4-0. The next game against Lesbica the She-Orca concluded with a fifth victory (7-0).
For their last game, the Brussels Mannekenfish would meet their Nemesis. The 2014 champions that defeated them in Brussels: Amsterdam. They wanted revenge. Holding their ground, pressing in defense, preventing any opening for their opponents, taking advantage of the opportunities, the Mannekenfish succeeded beyond their expectations winning the game 6-0. Six games, six victories. But there was still one to come to reach gold.
The final game against London Orca A started well for Brussels, the Mannekenfish leading 2-0. But London would not let the victory slip away, especially as they were playing at home. The Orcas fought back, reaching 2-2. Despite an intense struggle, no team managed to score and the winner would be known after a penalty session.
It started wrong for Brussels with a first miss, while London scored. The silence in the Crystal Palace was total each time a player would shoot. Tension was rising. Then the Brussels goalie stopped one, two and three attempts from London while the Mannekenfish scored! After months of intense training, one day of hard competition, and seven victorious games, the Brussels Mannekenfish could finally rejoice. This year it was gold!
LONDON, HERE WE COME
The annual European Champagne Tournament is organized by London Orca this year. We will be 16 Brussels Mannekenfish competing on October 31 to try and do better than our bronze medal (Amsterdam, 2013) and our silver medal (Brussels, 2014).
Our schedule for this Saturday:
10.00 - Brussels Mannekenfish vs. Manchester B
11.20 - Brussels Mannekenfish vs. AquaHomo
12.20 - Brussels Mannekenfish vs. Orca Chariots
13.40 - Brussels Mannekenfish vs. Paris Aquatique A
14.40 - Brussels Mannekenfish vs. Lesbica the She-Orca
15.20 - Brussels Mannekenfish vs. Amsterdam
The finals will take place between 16.40 and 17.40.
Follow our Facebook page for a live update of the results!
Organisation : Facebook page
NEw season started!
On September 9, the Brussels Mannekenfish started training for their 4th season. This time, it was a bit different from the previous years as 20 newcomers joined the experienced players for the first training of our Bootcamp for Beginners.
The pool was a bit crowded but the atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly. The old players were happy to share their knowledge with the newcomers, who were all eager to learn.
During the next 3 weeks, they will have the opportunity to discover all the aspects of water polo. At the end of the Bootcamp, we hope that most of them will master the basic skills and want to join the team.
Good luck to all of them!
4th place at the eurogames
We finished on an unexpected 4th place at the Stockholm Eurogames - IGLA Championships. With wins over Washington and Toronto, and a draw against the champions Atlanta, we are very proud to finish on the 4th place (16 teams).
Brussels Mannekenfish - Washington Wetskins 5-3
Brussels Mannekenfish - Atlanta Rainbow Trouts 7-7
Brussels Mannekenfish - London Orcas 5-7
1/4 finals : Brussels Mannekenfish - Toronto Triggerfish 8-6
1/2 finals : Brussels Mannekenfish - Atlanta Rainbow Trouts 5-15
Bronze F : Brussels Mannekenfish - TNYA New York 5-9
EUROGAMES - STOCKHOLM 2015 : competitors
We got some news about the Eurogames in Stockholm.
We gonna play in the Competitive Group with :
It's a very tough league knowing that the Americans and Australians are pretty good. We'll have fun!
Link : Eurogames Stockholm - Waterpolo
This is a match between Atlanta and New York
Tactics - MAN UP
As a little novelty, after each training we will write a short recap of what we learnt during the training, or what were the points that we need to highlight/remember/drill in to our precious brain.
So today we were mostly busy with the man-up situation (4-2):
Remember, always look at the goal before you make a pass, you have to be dangerous.
Pass the ball to the person next to you, don't skip a player.
Give straight passes, if defender presses, pass the ball behind the attacker.
In position one, you are being dangerous while you are moving in the 2m line. Then you have three option to pass: 1# pass to player in position 5 who also moving into 2 meter line - high pass just in front of the goal. He jumps high up, and pushes the ball into the goal. 2# pass to position 6 who moves backwards in order to gain some space - high pass but relatively short, he shoots right into the goal. 3# pass to the player in position 2, just next to you and start turning the ball.
Player in position 2 while being dangerous and faking, moves to the right side, passing the ball to player in position 3. Player in position 3 does the same in order to give space to player in position 4, who will in the end shoot strong from the five meter line.
Its all about being dangerous to and looking at the goal in every position. Giving good passes and moving to the right place in the right time. Easy right? Well, it will be, believe me! We keep practicing and we gonna nail it!