Water Polo Interview

Interview with Tomo Bujas: Fish stinks from the head, water polo team stinks from goalkeeper

Tomo Bujas
(Photo: Tomo Bujas)

We bring you great interview with Tomo Bujas, a goalkeeper who defended counterattack 2-on-1 with his leg, 10 days ago. That was just a motive, and the result was an excellent interview in which Tomo sealed the most important problems of water polo today. He spotted the water polo on social networks that could give an additional dimension, the lack of a water polo soundtrack, the German reality of water polo and the return of credibility. Spandau and Hannover are the carriers of the German water polo now that the National team missed two Olympic Games in succession, and the Olympic Games aren’t what they used to be.

Water polo is no longer a sport, but a product that someone has to purchase, so it is inevitable that Waterpolo Ltd. to be founded. Numerous and frequent changes to the rules is hard to follow and he is grateful for being a goalkeeper and this is not so much needed. And also Tomo spoke why are the goalkeepers today unintuitive, why they are not trying to predict the game, as fish stinks from the head, water polo team stinks from goalkeeper because the goalkeeper gives the team a character, a color, a personality and an identity … all this and much more read below.

We will start with goalkeeper question. It seems that today we have lack of great goalkeeprs, even Lopez Pinedo with 38 years joining the top even though it has been the week part of the Spain team for years. Spain has no other serious goalkeeper, Serbia’s goalkeepers are the worst part of the team, the Greeks, they do not even have a solid goalkeeper, etc. Apart from Bijač and Pavić it is difficult to find the top goalkeeper who can continuously bring the advantage to his team. Is there any explanation?

I don’t think that we lack in top Goalkeepers, but we don’t have any „crazy“ ones anymore. 😉 Through this question I will explain it to you how outdated our sport really is. Even though I would even dare to say that our sport isn’t only outdated, but due to constant repetition of everything it became a bit numb.

After only one shot I can immediately see if the coach of this goalkeeper was a goalkeeper himself or a player which ended up training goalkeepers. You can see it immediately on how “soft” his moves are. You see what is he focusing on. Even the goalkeepers which were coached by a player make different types of mistakes, then the goalkeepers which were coached by the goalkeepers.
There are six players and in order for them to function properly they need to work and act in a unison. There is only one goalkeeper. My attitude and philosophy is that the goalkeeper is allowed to do whatever he wants, as long as he doesn’t receive a goal. Individuality is not allowed and even the goalkeepers nowadays have to listen to orders. I think that the same thing which makes our sport so limited and predictable has a lot to do with that that the most of the coaches end up playing the biggest part of their careers the same type of alibi game. Minimal risk, maximum control. All in the one and the same pattern of moves, behaviors and thoughts. They don’t develop themselves or their game. And with it they don’t develop the game as a whole. Such an approach with its expectations has castrated the goalkeepers of today.

The whole point of the game is that one players dares to shoot at the goal, Then we get the so called “the moment of truth”. A moment in which we find out who is better then the two. This mental moment when the player dares to shoot on a goal doesn’t exist anywhere else in any other part of the game of Waterpolo. Its not only being overlooked, but almost ignored. That’s why today we have goalkeepers without intuition. Goalkeepers which just follow the game. They are not trying to predict, read and understand the game happening in front of them. They are just reacting to certain patterns. They are not coming out of their safe zone. They are unsure and afraid to embarrass themselves. Goalkeepers should be generals in the water. They should lead that defense! If you want to lead, the team must trust you. You have to have some sort of authority. If the players are not trusting their goalkeeper automatically they are gonna play 20-30% weaker in the offense. The goalkeeper has to be The Head. People call them crazy, but the goalkeepers simply have the completely different approach towards the game of Waterpolo and sport itself, because he is playing a completely different role.

I would also like to add “the Problem” of the National Teams. In National Teams most of the goalkeepers are unrecognizable in my opinion. Even some of the crazy goalkeepers become more normal in the National teams. National team is the Standard, and you as a player will adjust yourself accordingly. From the goalkeepers that I know of, or still remember, only Jesus Rollan and Denis Sefik were able to implement their playing qualities together with their specific goalkeeping characters into the game of their National teams itself. We cant all be Rollans and Sefiks, but we should all at least have the possibilities to implement our own unique approach towards the game. That’s why everything and everyone are so predictable and always the same team wins and literally everybody is behaving like there is only this one formula on how to play Waterpolo. Believe it or not, but everything starts from the goalkeepers. They give the team character, color, personality and an identity. They say that the goalkeeper alone makes and is 40% of his team. He isn’t allowed to have a bad day because that is usually catastrophic for his team and it means that they will lose the game probably. To understand the term and idea of continuity you need at least few years. Then to adopt it and to implement it in your training it takes you a couple more and a few more to incorporate it in your own game. Young goalkeepers have to face different adversities and realities at a very young age which other players have to face much later in their waterpolo lives.

Goalkeepers objective is to not receive a goal, which doesn’t mean that the only thing which the goalkeeper needs to do is block the shot. Fish stinks from its head, and a Waterpolo Team from its Goalkeeper.

Two Saturdays ago you played the great derby of Duisburg, the first one after 20 years. How it went from score, fan and media part of view?

As a Waterpolo event amazing. Excelent. Full stands, our drums, their drums and the rest of the noisy devices, tense atmosphere, interesting backside story of the small DSV 98 against the great ASCD. We kept it together for two and a half quarters. They broke us in the middle of third and finished in the fourth quarter. I know its not fair to say it, but 17:6 really doesn’t represent how close we were to get into the last part of the game with an even score, and then we would have big chance of breaking them. In the last 10 minutes we received 10 goals and mostly out of the counter attack. Two players from our starting seven were not playing due to injury and suspension from the last game. I can not explain to all of you how big of a shock German league would experience if the small DSV 98 defeated the great ASCD. That’s like Cavtat beating Jug. I admit gladly that this derby got a lot more Medias attention then its normal for the German Waterpolo. On all of the German Waterpolo sites and forums any type of link or article about our game were the most visited and the most clicked ones. German club waterpolo hasn’t had this type of promotion in a while.

Have you been a little bit burned out of great desire since this is yours, except for visiting Hannover, worst defeat in the season?

We knew that they are better then us and that if they play to the best of their abilities that they will win. We expected them to be under an enormous amount of pressure. We expected that because in the last 30 years they were one of the best Waterpolo clubs in Germany, and we just entered in the first league for the first time after 20 years. I added more fuel to the fire over Facebook and Instagram with my posts and comments. They are not used to something like that and it affected them greatly. I saw them today before our training and they still seem a bit shook, under the influence of it hahaha. We went all out. Kill or be killed, and we were holding our own and standing our ground. At the beginning of the third quarter we were down 5 goal to 3. They were motivated more then ever and their goalkeeper Christoph Hans was saving everything and then some. Later he was voted Man of the Match. To them this was more important then to be the German Champs. You know how it is in the small towns. We are not justifying us. They beat us fair and square, but we still have enough room for improvement and with a little bit of luck maybe in the next game we will be the victorious ones. We sold ourselves very good in this game. Learned something new. Learned that we should not be afraid of anybody. We are still focused on building our own game up, to continuously learn from our mistakes and adapting our game to the individual qualities of our players. Our main objective is to remain in the First German League (DWL), and everything is still up for grabs.

Its interesting to add that among the ASCD players there is one kid who was goalkeeping for the Mornar youth program parallel as I was being the first goalkeeper for the First team. The kids name is Ivo Topolovac and we came to Germany the same year and both in Duisburg. His whole family moved to Germany and as he arrived he didn’t know in which club to sign and he didn’t know if he is going to continue with Waterpolo all together. After we were both already in Germany for few months his ex-coach from Mornar Marin Kliskinjic told me about the kid. I contacted him and at that time ASCD had better youth program then ours I connected him with their coach and now the kid is slowly knocking on the doors of their first team, and he is only 16.

You mantioned great announcement on Facebook in which you wrote, among other things, Stadtderby > Germanderby, how did this less important derby go?

I think, not sure about it, that Waspo beat Spandau 6 to 5 haha. I tried finding the information on how many spectators were they but I wasnt able to. I presume somewhere between 50 and 100, but like I said already I wasn’t able to locate that information. With 400+ spectators at the Duisburg Derby Im convinced that we were being watch by a bigger audience. Last year the Play Off Games for climbing in the first german league (best of 5 series, went the distance) between us and the team of Plauen was visited and live-streamed more then the First German League Final between the already mentioned teams which was taking place on the same weekends. Sapientis Sat. And my first post on Facebook haha has been made more in a sense of making the ASCD players nervous. Being that we train on same pool, we see each other and all of a sudden they start to openly ignore me, some passive aggressive stuff, after one video of me making a block went a bit viral. So im coming to the pool and they are all ignoring me and act like they don’t know what went down. The people around the whole world have seen my block and them 15 against whom I play in 5 days haven’t somehow heard it or seen it. So I decided to irritate and abuse them even more on my Facebook page, just to see will they still ignore me. Nobody wants to hit Follow or Like, but they know it all the little stalkers haha but the main point of all those things on the social medias is to give one more dimension to our sport. Journalism in general is going through a crisis of its own and somehow I feel that our sport got lost in all of it and lost itself basically. Our sport has no stories, it has no great rivalries, the spectators can not identify with the players they come to watch and support. Our Sport has no background. It has no soundtrack. And I am convinced that every spectator, which came to my game, was on the edge of his, or hers seat for the first two and half quarters just because of everything that had been said and the background of the game. When the spectators left the game they felt like they saw and experienced something. They felt like being a part of a story. He doesnt feel bad for paying the 5 euro ticket fee. Satisfied Costumers.

Tomo Bujas

What is the situation in German water polo in general? We know that Hanover is very strong, and also Spandau has been stronger now than five years ago? What’s the situation in other clubs?

At the moment the German waterpolo is growing and expanding itself rapidly. The people around the clubs themselves are way more organized and engaged. They care a lot for their youth programs. They are also investing a lot into Womens Waterpolo as well. This year more then few Women teams were formed all over Germany. Also a good example is how they take care and look out for their referees. They tape almost every game, they send their referees to watch the games of European Champions league so that they can watch and learn. They are doing the referee seminars. After each and every game you can approach them and ask something about a certain decision. The game delegates talk with the coaches about certain decisions and everything is being govern with the idea that we all should be move forward together. The main idea is to find solutions which fit both players and referees. Im not saying that they don’t upset me from time to time, but somehow I know that this referee made this mistake now and probably never again. Sometimes is hard, being that the rules of our sport are going through changes almost on a yearly basis. The Germans are correcting a lot of the mistakes that the system of our sport, because of the continuous bad management from the people at the top, contains in itself. In my opinion if anyone can bring back some relevancy or at least credibility to this sport of ours then that are either Germans or the Americans. The Germans are slowly but surely finding their path. They are still making some mistakes, but they are doing a lot that they fix them. And that’s a fact that should make all the Waterpolos followers rejoice. Our sport in general has a lot of problems and issues, but in Germany at least it comes with a dose of reality. And that’s what the Waterpolo of today lacks. A reality check.

With absence of Germany from the last two Olympic Games Waspo from Hannover played a big role and did a lot to make Germany still something of a relevant player on the Europen club scene. Still the best Waterpolo club scene in the world. Currently they are the best team in Germany by far and one of the best ones in the World, and I expect them to be even better next year. Maybe even the best.

I think that its normal with every great club that they have some type of cycles, its the same with Spandau from Berlin. 5 years ago they had a switch of generations and a lot of key players said their final farewells to the sport of Waterpolo. They didn’t win anything for a year and immediately the next one they were the German Champions and Cup winners. I don’t think that Spandau will ever again be the best club in the World, but they will always play one of the main roles.
Except Waspo, Spandau and ASCD every other club is on amateur basis and there all of the players besides playing waterpolo also either go to Universities, or they work, or they are youth coaches in their own clubs.

In Hannover, Seehafer has invested money, he is president and sponsor and trainer, as I have heard the budget for salaries for the first team is about one million euros. Probably similar in Spandau?

Spandau and Waspo are currently two very similar clubs. I think that they have different ways of financing themselves. What Mr. Karsten Seehafer represents and is for Waspo, that is Mr. Hagen Stamm for Spandau. They are both ex Waterpolo players, both capable businessmen who are enthusiastic and in love with the game of Waterpolo. They are involved with the game of Waterpolo just because they want to and because they love it. They are not dependent on anybody. Them two deserve a lot of credit for keeping the German Waterpolo alive inside the realm of possibilities of this dying sport. Mr. Shaafer has been continuously investing and every year ads one or two players which make him better immediately. Its one thing having a good team and players within it, but Waspo has been showing continuous progress in its game and has been playing better and better in the European Champions League.

Too bad that these two clubs don’t quarrel and a little bit over Instagram or Facebook also, or that Mr. Shaafer and Mr. Stamm exchange few words over Internet. If we are here talking about my freakin Facebook status, you could just imagine what could go down if these two start it of. They could fill arenas, let alone swimming pools hahaha 🙂

Does these investments are followed by the development of young players who will return the German team to top of the world’s water polo?

You know what. I’ve read the interview with prof.Kuterovac in which he talks about a sport system which isn’t producing quality athletes all by itself, and about how he himself doesn’t know how to value the medals his athletes won at the Olympic Games in Rio. I would dare to go even further. I think that the Olympic Games as a sport event have lost any sense or meaning. Olympics Games make no sense anymore!! If you as an athlete reach your pinnacle you should be able to provide something for yourself. Some reward should await for you. The logic of it somehow implies it. Why should someone invest so much energy and time to win the Olympics and wont get some adequate reward for it, and having all along the big corporations making enormous amounts of money during the whole Olympic Games spectacle? That’s all Olympics have become. Just a lot of smoke and mirrors. So, literally these athletes fill up stadiums and arenas, over millions of sold out tickets, commercials all over the world with billions and billions dollars and euros of pure profit and yet 99% of athletes come back to a reality that prof.Kuterovac had already described. Reality that is ridden of any rewards, let alone any adequate money compensations for the time spent making somebody else a lot of money. It has become gross and disgraceful for the athletes themselves, for the organizing committee and for everybody involved. Olympic Games have become the biggest disgrace of the modern sport.

The role of sport in our societies has changed. Sport of today represents something completely different and it is being seen purely as one of many forms of entertainment choices. During the cold war sport had a certain political connotation which added to its value. Countries all over the world were investing a lot more money in sport just because of that reason. The main shift in todays Waterpolo is that Waterpolo should not be seen purely as a sport anymore, but as a product which somebody has to place in the market. And that’s all!! The best example of it are the MMA sports of today with the UFC at the front as its biggest company. The way they lead their sport is the way we should take also and we should learn from their example. People like it or not, but we are living in an Entertainment Era. In todays world all sports are openly fighting each other for the attention of the viewers. Attention is the main capitalistic driving force behind the modern sport. And people need to get it already. I get irritated by these players which make 3-4 thousand of euros a month and they think that they know it all. They think that they are the same level athletes as some which earn millions. I love those who behave towards the spectators with a certain “do you know who I am” bravado. We the Athletes are there for our spectators and not the other way around. We have to fight for their attention and not they for ours. This sport hasn’t made any progress since the Cold War. There needs to come a day when we are going to have something like Waterpolo Incorporated. Waterpolo as a company that we are gonna be able to put out on the market, on the stock exchange and where we could find investors, donors and other ways of money influx. I don’t know if Germans already figured that one out. If they haven’t, they will soon. I’m not speaking here about some league, but about the complete sport itself under the Waterpolo Incorporated. Just making up the names

The Germans know that they cant place and sell Waterpolo to the broader audiences if they don’t participate at the Olympic Games. They are doing everything within the rules to allow the younger players to gain as much playing experience as they can and all along have them training very hard. In Hannover you have two clubs. Waspo and White Sharks. White Sharks is a club which is organized in a way so that the youth players can attend school and train as much as they can in their free time. Something like a Waterpolo boarding school. And I have also heard that some young players from White Sharks here and there train with the more experienced Waspo players. Which cant be bad for them. Spandau and Potsdam are also doing the similar thing. They also have the selections by States. I don’t know how is it in the rest of the Germany, but here where I am at in the Nord-Rhein Westfalia two Serbians are training them. So not just some trainer from the side. Just so that it looks like they are doing something. These guys train seriously and they mean business. In Germany almost every small town or village has a Swimming pool and a team. You would not believe all the places I played at haha People forget that Germans have won Bronze medal at Olympic Games which took place in Los Angeles in 84 and that that same Generation were the European Champs few years later.

And the question of will the Germans be on the top again maybe isn’t the right question we should be asking ourselves right now. This sport got so old and out of date that we can literally say that its not the Germans fault for not being one of the top teams in the world, but that the Sport itself is to be blamed! How can you integrate this sport with all of its rules into some new surrounding? We have always the same 8 teams playing the end rounds of all the tournaments. Every weekend some new rules are being made. I have a feeling that I should come to the games with my lawyer. Honestly, thank God that im a goalkeeper, because I have stopped following all of this rule changing thing some years ago.

What are the expectation from the final8 in Hannover? Or to preformulate the question, can we expect that with this organization of the final tournament water polo in Germany get media or any other breakthrough?

To tell you the truth brother, i really don’t know. I would really want it to be like that. This sport has an ENOURMOUS Internet base which still isn’t not even close to being united, and it would be awesome if we could have one event like that which could bring together all of the Waterpolo enthusiasts and fans from all over the world.

In Germany its always the same with media and promotion. When Boris Becker was winning Wimbeldons everybody alive and their mamas were playing tennis. Germany needs desperately to qualify for the next Olympic Games. Waspo can keep you alive and relevant, but without the Olympic Games its very hard to reach that “main stream” masses which came to an event not to watch a certain sport but to support their respected Nation. If the Germans were tomorrow to win the Olympics. The next day you would have 20 000 new kids being signed up by their parents.

Let’s go back to the event that encouraged us to arrange this interview; 14 days ago at the end of the third quarter you have defended with FOOT counterattack 2 on the 1?! For waterpolo opportunities the video on Facebook is exceptionally viewed, divided over 200 times. The word or two about the defense itself, a maybe on that media promotion.

What can I say. I’m just a local kid from my local Waterpolo community. I started playing for the club called Posk and ended up hanging around its summer pool for the most of my childhood. Most of that childhood was spent playing and inventing some water and ball games. Inside or outside of the pool depending on that if the pool was free for us to play at. One of the games is called “on the goal”. Each club has its own name for the game but the basic rules of the game are that two play against two on one goal. The ball isn’t allowed to touch the surface of the water and goals are not allowed after a fake. Only direct shooting. The rule of “panic” is always active which means that once one team makes a block they are automatically on offense. The game doesn’t stop. And with time playing this and other games you develop one more type of intelligence and a view on the game itself. The players on that pool which I grew up with, and which were always my idols growing up always valued highly some sort of humor in the game. “Street Waterpolo” haha 🙂 So I also developed the same approach towards the game of Waterpolo. One more thing. A Goal scored with the head counts as two 🙂

And now about the block itself there is not a lot to say. Them two against one of mine. They could have made a goal simple and easy, but they stalled, looked a bit arrogant, even I was hurrying them up, and then some sort of karma or Gods justice in a shape of my foot punished them. I often try to block with my foot when I practice and I must say that I have been pretty successful with this technique. Somehow in this play all the stars aligned themselves, finally. I read his body language accurately and haven’t reacted at his first fake, because I knew he wasn’t gonna shoot immediately. That annoyed him a bit. I had him on my hook already. On the second pass which he received I sensed how he wants to get rid of the ball as fast as he can. When he received the ball I saw that his shoulders were pointing at the diagonal and that it would be the most natural thing for his body to shoot in that side of the goal. On purpose I jumped prematurely to my right side, just so that he thinks that I have already decided my side, but I have basically slid only, without a real effort to make a sensible block, so that I could have my right foot placed just beneath the waters surface. I knew that in his craziest dreams and fantasies he would not expect something like this. And he fell for it. What can I say. Just your typical every day Booby Trap 😉

I also find it more then interesting how that small clip „touched“ so many people. I guess because it is this typical underdog story which we all go through at some points in our lives. Your outnumbered and outgunned, they are stalling as if making fun of you and then you finish them with some “drop the mic, thug life” move. You know, just how they do it on YouTube haha 🙂 I think that the people, not only inside of the Waterpolo community, but the people in general can easily identify with a story like that being told inside of those few seconds. I personally think that the reason they have shared it is exactly because it represented some sort of karma, then some extra waterpolo move. It represents an Attitude. To me personally its all nice and dandy, but what struck me the most was when I saw how the kids from my club in Duisburg reacted to the whole thing when they saw me. How many kids, which have just fallen in love with this beautiful game of Waterpolo have seen it online and will take it with them to their own practices. Maybe they will try their own moves, or find out some things or solutions to some problems which they normally wouldn’t. Alone that act of affecting and influencing newest generations of young goalkeepers and waterpolo players is the thing that really filled my heart with joy and contempt.

Otherwise, did you explain to the teammate that in the event of a counterattack he should not move from one player to anotherand allow switching the ball?

Hahahaha. I even yelled at him to stay with the player on the left side, because its easier to block a right hand shooter shooting from his uncomfortable side, but it happens. These types of mistakes have more to do with physical exhaustion then anything else. I learned in Germany that I can expect all sort of mistakes from my teammates once they get tired. It has nothing to do with their knowledge or understanding of the game as much as it has to do with being tired. The amount of average players in Germany and in Croatia is similar, its just that the average players in Croatia are more fit then the players in Germany.

We remember your attractive saves on the first RedBull Sidrun, the bubbles flowing that that allowed yours transfer to Germany?

Brother, that Red Bull Sidrun is tailored and measured just for my cut, taste and style haha I think that there also I had few blocks with my foot haha and the after-party was a good one 😉
yes yes, the backalleys know it all. True. Mornar decided that they don’t want to keep me in their ranks. Spent the next 3 months looking for a club to play for. Then somehow you connected me with my current Duisburg club and I went out to try out for them. I came back with an offer, but I haven’t decided on anything yet. Then inside the next 3 days I got offers from 3 different clubs. No clubs or offers for months and then in 4 days, 4 offers. All of the other offers were better financially, but somehow my gut was telling me that I should go for the German one. The decision was not so much related with the Waterpolo. I gave up on any Waterpolo ambitions or wishes. I wanted to build me a new life.

You became player through youth program of POSK, you are now 5 years in Germany, how does life in water polo in Germany come from your perspective?

I trained and played for POSK for the first 10 years of my involvement with the game of Waterpolo . Then I spent a year at an American university. University of the Pacific (Once a tiger, always a tiger. Stockton mf Stockton!!). Then the next two years I played again for POSK, and then 2 more years for Mornar. And now im already in my fifth season with DSV 98
You don’t come to play in Germany, you come to live in Germany. I couldn’t have explained it any simpler.

Which clubs did you play for? What are the ambitions of the DSV, we know have just returned to the first league and that has a very young team?

I came with DSV 98 from the third to the first German league inside of 4 years. 3 weeks ago we we received with the Team of the Year Honors by our town of Duisburg, and there are very small chances that I will ever leave this club. We all have the same goal for this year, to stay in the first German league. For now the most important thing is to build a stable and modern waterpolo club of the 21. Century. We invest in our programs. We have first, second, third and fourth team plus our youth program which is also on a rise and growing rapidly. Last year two youth coaches from ASCD came to our club to train our kids. We organize that the kids from school can come to our school and do their apprenticeships on our summer pool. For the summer we have organized courses for swimmers and Yoga. We have special training for the elderly. There is also a club house working as a restaurant where the club members often celebrate their birthdays and other private or business parties. This Saturday our oldest member is celebrating his 80th birthday. We are all gonna be there. Herbert Spiekermann is the member of our club for more then 70 years. What an Inspiration. People like him keep you in check with yourself. He is the standard for our club and we all try to be more like him. We are all somehow involved in it all. Everybody jumps in whenever they can, for whatever the issue is. We keep contacts with the older players which are giving us their support. Be it by a visit, or by a donation to the club. Something similar to how they do it at the Universities in USA. We are not a club. We are a family! With that attitude we are building and rebuilding and redefining our DSV 98. For moree information go to our site www.dsv98.de #subtle hahaha :). In our club everything is being run by 3 people. Robert Luensmann, Susanne Becker and Volker Hortz. Not only that they are not payed for any of this, they invest their own money in it. And they are not only investing in the Waterpolo team, but for the well being of the whole club. With them we also have another 10 friends of the first team which always travel to our away games with us, and never mind that they are always outnumbered, they are still the loudest ones out there. That’s how DSV 98 rolls 🙂 even us players pay the yearly membership of 160 euros to the club. We do everything for the love of the game and for the love of a certain community that gathers around a certain team. That’s why lately we have been growing steadily. Last year the amount of our club members has increased for around 100 🙂 now we have somewhere around 800 club members 🙂

Water polo plans for the future?

Hahaha, I have no idea, my brother. After Mornar I thought I was finished with the game of Waterpolo, and that this thing just isn’t for me anymore. After few years I go to Hannover to watch a Champions League game between Waspo and Barceloneta. Two of my ex colleges from Mornar played for Waspo. Marin Ban and Ante Corusic. So, im there and watching this game. And im watching. Watching. Then somewhere in this game I see that these guys are not any better then me. Fitter maybe, but definitively not better. But I wouldn’t dare to say something like that out loud then and there. Here I am playing in some second freakin German league and they are the teams worthy of the Final 8 tournament. I kept it for myself and moved on with my life. And then last February I went to my hometown of Split for a brief visit with my fiance. I went to watch a local derby. What I saw surprised me. I saw that if I had somehow then and there jumped into the pool I would have, not only dominated the game, but I would have been the tipping point which would bring any of the two teams victory. No matter which team of them two. That really brought me up from my Waterpolo hibernation. My confidence came back. Even though I am playing in the German league I have developed and grew as a goalkeeper. I have no goalkeeper coaches here. I always train alone and I have developed my own system of work, training and goalkeeping. If Rocky needed 5 weeks to prepare himself for Apollo Creed, if would need 4 to prepare myself for the Croatian National Team.

Other possibilities which I will have in a year or two, are that I will become eligible for a German passport and citizenship. I’m not doing it to get into the German National Team, but exclusively because of the advantages which come with having a German passport. I wont mix there or step on any toes, but if they invite me I will gladly accept the offer. This is a land in which I am building my self a future, a land in which Im building myself a new life, a land from which my future wife comes from and a land thanks to which I fell in love with the game of Waterpolo again. It would be an Honor for me to represent it.

Looking at the side at home club events, the Split water polo is on the rise, at least as it does regarding Jadran. Mornar and the POSK are less or more on the same level as you left them when you went out. Maybe after the Europen Championship 2022 Split gets at least one more indoor pool in order to improve the conditions for training?

When Mornar decided to get rid of me that broke my heart, brother. I haven’t followed, let alone watched anything Waterpolo related for a while. Olympic Games I have skipped completely. Haven’t watched a second of it. I only know that we took home the silver, and that we lost against Serbia. Who won the bronze or anything else, or what were the scores I have no idea. I was really hurting. Two years surely I played the game of Waterpolo without any will and with a broken heart. Sorry for sounding a bit pathetic now haha 🙂 Thanks to these guys from DSV 98 and to their love for this game of ours I fell in love with Waterpolo again. This will probably be the first time that they will find it out, but for that I am really grateful and thankful to them.
Whats going on with Jadran, or whats up with Mornar, or what is POSK now doing I have no idea what so ever. Here and there I take a sneak peak over Facebook and Instagram and I see that someone won, or lost something. Hit the like button and that’s that. There was never a problem to assemble a good team in Split. Split has problems with continuity, and not with quality. Is the European Championship in Croatia? Haha, I have no idea.

Thank you for the opportunity and I wish you all the best in the future.

Source: dance.hr<em/strong>

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