The Lancaster men’s water polo team continue to be one of the best water polo teams in the country having won 12 British Water Polo League titles in the last 18 years and a record breaking 9 British Championship titles, including the double on 7 occasions.
As Lancaster prepare for this seasons British Water Polo League we take a look at the success of Lancaster and what they have to give this year!
Lancaster City entered the National Water Polo League (known now as the British Water Polo League) in 1979 in division three. Lancaster only spent two years in this division after coming third in their first year and winning the league in their second year. The second division in 1981 was hard for the Lancaster team but they managed to stay in there from 1981 to 1987 finishing between 8th and 5th. Then in 19988 the progressed to 3rd before in 1989 they finished second and won the play off to be promoted to the first division. During this period, Rysz Detko picked up the league’s top goal scorer trophy in 1983.
Since their promotion in 1990 they have been ever present in the top division. Lancaster have won the title an impressive twelve times in the last 18 years with their first win in 1996 and then three
consecutive years from 1998 to 2000 followed by five consecutive years from 2002 to 2006 The latest titles were in 2008, 2009 and in 2011 when the final drama was played out in front of the sky sports cameras.
During this period a Lancaster player has won the league top goal scorer on no fewer than 11 times. 1994 was the first time when Colin Burgess won the trophy and he went on to repeat this on a further four occasions in 1996, 1999, 2001 & 2002. From 2005 to 2014 a Lancaster player won accolade every year with the exception of 2010. Tom Curwen won his first of three in 2005 and repeated this in 2011 and 2014. In 2006 Scott Carpenter won it for the first of three consecutive years before Alex Parsonage took over in 2009 and followed this up in 2012 and 2013.
Lancaster also hold a record breaking 9 British Championship titles including the double of British Water Polo League and the British Championships on seven occasions in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009.
This year the Lancaster team welcomes back Chris Hartley and James Wannop. They also introduce three new juniors; Stefano Cossutti, Jordan Titley and Alex Armstrong, into the team along with existing juniors Zak Lamb, Owain Llewellyn and Aaron Mason.
You will still continue to see; Tom Curwen, Glen Robinson, Marc Robinson, Alex Parsonage, Graham Harrington, Roger Kennedy, Ryan Pinington, Decland Ellwood, Scott Sharpe, Robert Simpson and Dave Teasdale, playing for the Lancaster team.
Head Coach Zak Sly, returns for his second season along with team manager Nigel Sharpe and the team also welcome back team manager Jeff Parker.
Last year Lancaster finished second after losing out to Cheltenham by just two goals in their final games. Lancaster opening weekend is this weekend (26th & 27th September) at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, where they will take on last year’s fourth place winners Bristol and Championship one runners up City of Sheffield.