OTTAWA – Hamilton’s Nic Youngblud has been named to Canada’s National Water Polo team which is preparing for several major competitions.
Youngblud, the team’s goalie, has been a member of the senior men’s national team since 2002, after starring with the National Youth Team for four years.
Youngblud’s water polo career started in Grade 9 with the Westdale Warriors. He later joined the Hamilton Aquatic Club’s team under coach Quinn Fairley.
He joined Team Odyssey (the national youth team) in November 1997 and continued with that team until the end of the Junior World Championships in 2001.
Youngblud’s international experience includes Canada’s silver medal showing at the 2000 Pan-Am Games in Venezuela. As a member of the senior National Team, he played in the 2003 Cairo International Water Polo Tournament, winning the gold medal and in the 2003 Mintal Memorial Water Polo Tournament in Turkey, where the team won the silver medal.
The senior team’s first event together will be the preliminaries of the Men’s World Water Polo league which are set for Victoria, BC, July 14-16. Also competing in the league’s Group B prelims are the USA, Brazil, and Venezuela. The top three teams from this round advance to the league’s semi-finals in Los Alamitos, California, July 19-23. Also competing in the league are: Group A: Australia, New Zealand, China; Group C: Germany, Greece, Spain, Netherlands; and Group D: Russia, Italy, France.
The top three teams from the semifinals will advance to the finals in Athens, Greece from August 2-6. This will be Canada’s second appearance in the FINA Men’s World Water Polo League.
“This summer and all of next season will be a great test for us before meeting our main objective which is to compete at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio,” said head coach Dragan Jovanovic. “During the World League and at other events, we will face the USA and Brazilian Teams many times and this is great as these teams will be our main targets at the Pan Am Games.”
Other members of the team for the World League are: Goalie Robin Randall, Regina Squids (Drinkwater, SK); Nathaniel Miller, DDO (Montreal, Que); Daniel Stein, Pacific Storm (North Vancouver, BC ); Kevin Graham Regina Squids (Regina, SK); Noah Miller, Regina Squids (Regina, SK); Jean Sayegh, Hydres de Ste-Foy (Quebec City ); Con Kudaba, Pacific Storm (Port Coquitlam, BC); Thomas Marks, Pacific Storm (Vancouver); Aaron Feltham, Ottawa Water Walkers Club (Lindsay ON); Kevin Mitchell, Ottawa Waterwalkers (Vancouver); Islam Touni, CAMO de Montreal (Saint-Constant, Que); Brandon Jung, Pacific Storm (Burnaby B.C).
Coaching Staff:; Head coach Dragan Jovanovic, assistant coach Robert Couillard, manager avid Ardell, physiotherapist Wendy Laythorpe.
The schedule in Victoria for the Men’s World League Preliminaries:
Friday, July 14:
7pm – Canada vs Venezuela
8:30pm – USA vs Brazil
Saturday, July 15:
7pm – Canada vs Brazil
8:30pm – Venezuela vs USA
Sunday, July 16
7pm – Canada vs USA
8:30pm – Brazil vs Venezuela (TBC)