> Taken from www.gbwaterpoloblog.wordpress.com
GBWaterpoloblog catches up with Scott Carpenter, the ex Lancaster shooter who is about to start his 3rd season in Australia with the Victorian Tigers from Melbourne. Scott made is debut for the GB senior team when he was 17 and subsquently spent 3 years at the high performance centre before his 1st spell in Australia in 2010, where he won the league with the tigers and scored 52 goals bagging him 3rd place in the top scorers list. A move to spainish giants Terrassa followed for the 2010/2011 season before his return to Australia in 2012. He is there now preparing hard for the 2013 campaign with his teammates and talks to us about his waterpolo career so far and whats in store for the future…
You recently played in an All star team vs Australia in the ‘Waterpolo by the sea’ event at Bondi Beach, how’d it go? (for more info on this event go to www.waterpoloaustralia.com.au)
To play against australia at bondi beach on a saturday night in front of a crowd of aussie celebrities was crazy. It was so ‘Australian’. I watched players like tamas kasas and maurizio felugo when i was young and tried to copy them, so having them on my team was a buzz. the game was intense but really good fun. i scored our first 2 goals which felt nice as i was coming back from a decent break. Unfortunately Australia just edged us 9 - 8 but everyone loved the occasion which was the aim.
You’ve played in 2 countries now, which league would you say is the hardest and why?
They’re pretty different. Spain is a long 9 month season but it’s 1 game per week which is pretty convenient when almost every team is in Barcelona whereas Australia is only 4 months but we might travel to another state and play 6 games in 6 days. Both leagues are very fast but i’d say the polo in spain is slightly faster and the Aussies are generally bigger and stronger.
How much has playing abroad helped you progress as a player in the water and a person outside?
I’ve experienced lots of new things but as a person i’m exactly the same. As a player, i’ve picked up small things from the teams i’ve played with and against, rather than making huge changes. Luckily I’ve played at top teams in both leagues so i’ve trained with some great players who are a positive influence.
The Aussie league is about to start so what are the teams and players to watch out for this year?
It’s probably the most wide open league in the world so it’s hard to say…i think the last time the league champions went on to win the finals series was around 2006. Most teams haven’t finalised their international players yet, but the top teams are usually fremantle, sydney uni, brisbane, drummoyne, Uni of NSW and ourselves. I’m not really sure about individual players.
And what are you and your teams goals for this season?
We’ve finished 1st or 2nd for the past 3 seasons so the main goal for us is always to win. Personally i’m just enjoying my polo so as long as that continues I’ll be happy
In your opinion what can British waterpolo learn from how our Australian counterparts organise and manage the game at domestic and international level?
Best player played with? Too hard. Top 5 are maurizio felugo. tamas kasas. svilen piralkov. tom curwen. andy squires (best passer in world water polo).
Best player played against? Definitely aleksandr sapic (5 goals against GB in first quarter).
Favourite pool? Bondi Icebergs, but Newton Aycliffe Rec Centre will always be home.
Pre match meals? nothing in particular….occasionally a coffee if I need to wake up.
Per match superstitions or routines? no superstitions. my only routine would be a really bad land warm up, because i’ve never taken it seriously enough. it’s not good for me, i just never wake up until I jump in the pool.
Beat goal scored? The important goals in finals are always the nicest so probably the last quarter of the Australian League Final to put us one goal ahead. I was miles out and probably shouldn’t have shot, but I saw a gap and it went in. Scoring the winner for Lancaster with 7 seconds left in the British Champs final in one of my last games for the club would be a close 2nd.