After the biggest competition for the national teams in the year, after the 33rd European Championships, transfers are again the most interesting topics. in the world of water polo. Let’s see what happens in the biggest clubs
European champion Olympiacos hasn’t brought any reinforcement so far, but the club management did a great job this summer. Olympiacos kept almost all players who won the 2017/18 Champions League. The Pireaus-based club has extended contracts with several players in the last two weeks. Captain Josip Pavic, who was the MVP and the best goalkeeper at the Champions League Final Eight, signed his new contract for a year. Other two Croats in Olympiacos Andro Buslje and Paolo Obradovic did the same, as well as Giannis Fountoulis, the captain Greece’s national team, and Manolis Mylonakis. Konstantinos Genidounias extended his contract for three years
Greek powerhouse managed to keep a center-forward Konstantinos Mourikis, who had an agreement with Pro Recco, but this transfer was finally canceled two weeks ago. As Recco announced, Mourikis had signed a contract with Recco, despite he hadn’t be a free agent in that moment. After that, he showed a desire not to leave Olympiacos. Recco gave up from the transfer. The Italian champion doesn’t want to disturb good relations between the two clubs.
Christina Tsiligiris, Olympiacos General Secretary, thanked Recco’s administration for the way it had handled the Mourikis’ case:
The discussions we had with the representatives of the Italian club during this period to settle the issue were made in a climate of understanding. They were mutually willing not to disturb the relations of appreciation and respect that govern the two clubs, which remain outstanding.
Only one of 13 players who clinched the European title in Genoa in June has left the team. Legendary 33-years-old Evangelos Delakas ended his career. He played for Olympiacos for 14 years (2004 – 2018). Delakas won’t leave Olympiacos, he will work as Theorodos Vlachos’s assistant coach.
More than a month ago there were a lot of rumors that Canadian center-forward Nicolas Constantin Bicari could move from Marseille to Olympiacos, but the transfer still hasn’t be confirmed. Olympiacos maybe give up from this transfer because it managed to keep Mourikis.
Instead of Mourikis, Pro Recco’s solution for a center-forward position is Joseph Kayes, a Samoan from New Zealand, who took an Australian citizenship in 2015. He comes from the Hungarian league. Kayes played for Szeged (2009-2013) and for OSC from 2014 until this summer . With Kayes’s arrival number of players from countries out of European Union raised on four: Filip Filipovic, Dusan Mandic (both Serbia), Aleksandar Ivovic (Montenegro) and Kayes. Only two can play in the national competition. It is not impossible that somebody of the three players from the Balkans countries leaves the club. Goalkeeper Volarevic (left to Pescara), Bruni (Sport Management) and Caliogna (Camogli) already left Pro Recco.
Before Kayes, four players came to Ratko Rudic’s team: Marko Bijac, Vincenzo Renzuto (both Jug), Luka Bukic (Mladost) and Alessandro Velotto (Canottieri).
Brescia, Sport Management, Ortigia
Young Velotto was on a list of potential Brescia’s reinforcements. The runner-up in the 2017/18 national championship didn’t bring him, but two experienced members of the national team of Italy joined Brescia. Pietro Figlioli, Italy’s captain, and Valentino Gallo moved from Sport Management to Brescia. Three players left the club: Vjekoslav Paskovic (Roma), Eduardo Manzi (Posillipo), Guidi (Bogliasco).
There were a lot of transfers in Ortigia, which took the 4th place in the previous national championship. The club based in Syracuse, the capital of Sicily, has a new center-forward who comes from the USA. Matthew Farmer, who won the bronze medal with the USA team at the Universiade in Gwangju last year, signed for Ortigia. He was born in Chicago, but he has learnt water polo on the West Coast, as a student of the UCLA. Last few seasons, Farmer played for Hunter Hurricanes (Australia). He will replace Edoardo Casasola, who moved to Sport Management.
Besides Farmer, Ortigia’s reinforcements are famous Spanish player Alberto Espanol (comes from Barceloneta), Pellegrino (Catania) and Susak (Como). Dutch Robin Lindhout left the club to join Quinto, while Patricelli and Triangali ended their careers.
Alex Giorgetti, a former member of the national team of Italy (won gold at the 2011 World Championships and bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games), left Serie A. Giorgetti moved from Canottieri Naples to Waspo Hannover, which will be a host of the 2020 Champions League Final Eight. Giorgetii has a great experience in the European competition for clubs. He won 4 Champions Leagues as a Pro Recco’s player (2008, 2009, 2012, 2015).
Seven-times European champion Mladost returns om the right track, after a few years which were marked with big crisis and financial troubles. Antonio Petkovic, who came from Sport Management, was Mladost’s 6th reinforcement this summer after Serb Milos Cuk (Szolnok), Russian Konstantin Kharkov (Sturm 2002) Ivan Buljubasic (returned from Steaua), Marino Cagalj ( Mornar) and Luka Sucic.
Luka Bukic (Pro Recco), Andrija Basic (Vouliagmeni) and Fran Paskvalin (ended the career) left the squad.