How S'pore can be among Asia's best

How S'pore can be among Asia's best
Serbia’s water polo legend Igor Milanovic (in white) posing with the Anglo- Chinese School (Independent) team, after they beat Outram Secondary School 13-7 in the boys’ B Division final yesterday.

Singapore has the capability of going toe to toe with Asian water polo powerhouses such as China, Japan and Kazakhstan.

But the Republic would have to improve on its coaches' education as well as introduce more high-quality senior competitions.

Those are the views of 1984 and 1988 Serbian Olympic gold medallist Igor Milanovic, who is in town at the invitation of Samson Tan, Singapore Water Polo's (SWP) chief of player development.

"First of all, the coaches must work very hard and push themselves to find the best way to utilise 100 per cent of each training session, so that it makes life easier for them during games," said the 48-year-old Partizan Belgrade coach, who gave the local fraternity some pointers at Toa Payoh swimming pool yesterday morning before attending the National Schools' Boys' B Division final in the afternoon.



"They should also be watching and analysing games, and talking to more people like myself who know more than them. That's how they can improve as coaches."

Late last year, the two-time World Cup winner personally guided a group of 10 Singapore water polo boys on the finer points of the game when Tan took them to Partizan for a 10-day training camp.

Milanovic, who will visit Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and the National University of Singapore today before flying home tomorrow, added that Singapore needs to start a "serious local competition with at least three clubs" to grow the sport.

SWP's technical chief Tan Hong Boon revealed that there are plans to set up a semi-pro competition here, perhaps with three teams as a start, but the federation is working out the logistical details.

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