Torpedoes men hit home pool for first time as reigning champs

THE UWA Torpedoes men return home to play their first game as defending National Water Polo League premiers this Thursday night and having learned plenty on the road, coach Andrei Kovalenko is looking forward to seeing how they respond.

The Torpedoes made history last year by claiming the club’s first NWPL title and now the opening 11 games of the 2017 season have been on the road.

It began with six straight wins too firstly with two apiece against the Adelaide Jets and Barbarians from Victoria before also defeating the Fremantle Mariners at Bicton Pool.

UWA then began the Sydney road trip beating the Drummoyne Devils. The Torpedoes also scored a win over the Sydney University Lions on the road but also lost once to them while also being defeated once by Drummoyne and twice by the Cronulla Sharks.

UWA men learn plenty from week-long trip to Sydney 

The Torpedoes now return home with a 7-4 record as defending champions ahead of 11 straight home games at UWA Aquatic Centre starting this Thursday night against the University of Sydney Technology Balmain Tigers.

Kovalenko was interested to see the good and bad of the way his team handled life on the road with a target on their back in the opening 11 games of the season.

Now he can’t wait to see how they play in front of their home fans who get to see them for the first time since winning that maiden premiership.

“I’m quite excited to have our first game at home and it’s a pretty good thing that the club is going to the next level,” Kovalenko said.

“We hope a lot of people will come to those games to support the boys. It is a new experience again for the boys to experience so how they respond I cannot tell that. It’s a difficult one.”

Kovalenko is especially looking forward to Thursday night with the Torpedoes making their first appearance at home not only for 2017, but since winning the title.

“I would say it will be special,” he said.

“The way how water polo operates in Australia, you play the finals away anyway so now to play our first home game after we won the national league as the champions is very exciting.

“We are bringing something back to our home and we are trying to defend that. It is a nice feeling in the team to be playing our first home game now.”

The Torpedoes have also taken great pride in recent seasons in creating a tremendous home pool environment for the players and spectators alike. Kovalenko wants as many people as possible to come along to UWA this Thursday and Saturday night.

“I’m expecting a lot of people will come to support us because the boys need the support of every single member that the club has,” Kovalenko said.

“Every single person of the University is more than welcome and will be a great opportunity to see our boys in action as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing our supporters.”