Updated: Is it Sliema or our national team?

Friday, April 16, 2010, 11:45

This is the question that a number of local waterpolo followers are asking themselves as the National waterpolo team prepares for the forthcoming European Water Polo Championships Qualifiers being held in Turkey later on this month.

When the national team training sessions began last week, under the guidance of Sliema mentor Sergio Afric, a group of over 15 players were called up. Afric is assisted by Peter Decesare who also happens to be be part of Sliema’s coaching staff.

One must note that all the players that figure on the Sliema roster this year were called up with the national team, while other clubs only had a handful of players who got the nod from Afric to begin training.

A number of clubs and individuals have voiced their concern with sportinmalta.com about what is happening in the national team and on how all the Sliema players were summoned to Tal-Qroqq. On further investigation, sportinmalta.com can reveal that two Sliema players have now been dropped from the team.

The ASA has a number of questions to answer before the first swim-up in Turkey takes place, and one hopes that in future, national team selections are based on merit, and on merit only.

Update 16/4/2010
This portal has learnt that during an ASA Council meeting held earlier this week, the current saga that involves the national team was discussed. Our sources have informed us that during the debate, a number of club representatives brought up the issue of the obvious conflict of interest Afric has, and voiced their disapproval at how he handled team selection, and how he used the time allocated to the national team training sessions, for his benefit and his club by initially including the full Sliema squad in his selection.

They also voiced their concern about the compromising position that the national coach and assitant coach are in by simultaneously coaching the national team and Sliema, and said that an imminent solution is required to reinstate the atmosphere of serenity and integrity that is expected for the national team.

Sportinmalta.com has contacted the ASA to have its views on this story.





17 Comments

  1. Anon says:

    Stop watch naqbel mieghek u mal fatt li mhux sew li kien hemm it team kollu tas sliema anke min ma haqqux.. milli jider int jew xi player jew tkun hemm spiss….
    Dan l-artiklu huwa misleading hafna pero dak hu il punt tieghi.. fil verita hi li fl-iskwarda finali li ha tmur turkija 5 jew 6 player ha jkun hemm ta sliema…
    u il players l-ohra flok trainjaw ma sliema trainjaw taht il coach tahhom man nazzjonal. ma nistax nara xi gwadan enormi huwa.

    Pero biex ikun 100% korret fil verita hu missu li players li ma ghandomx cans jitilghu kien jazilom minn klabbas ohra biex ikun inqas inkwiet u paroli

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  2. stopwatch says:

    anon, veru li players mhux qed jiehdu session extra ta training, pero’ il kwistjoni mhux dik , imma l-fatt li sa ftit jiem ilu, l-iskwadra kollha kemm hi tas- Sliema kienet qed titttrejnja ma Malta, inkluz il-players li hija cara li m’humiex livell ta nazzjonal, ghax lil coach hekk jaqbillu. Jigifieri Afric kien qed jinqeda bit-tim nazzjonali biex jinqeda hu u t-team tieghu. jekk veru tkun il-pixxina suppost tarhom b’ghajnejk dawn l-affarijiet

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  3. Anon says:

    Concerned tghidx cucati… Jien ma nafx min int…
    imma jien inkun pixxina kuljum ax nilab waterpolo u mhux ma sliema u m’iniex tajjeb bizzejjed biex nilab man nazzjonal…
    Sliema pleyrs are not getting an extra session. they are training with national team instead of sliema… and the 1 or 2 players that dont train with national team, either train alone or with other clubs…

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  4. Concerned says:

    Facts are there for all to really understand what is going on. In short the Sliema players are having extra training sessions under afric at the expense of players from other clubs who deserve a call. THERE is the conflict of interest. And that is why it is shameful. Ajma, ma jafux xi tfisser regina profettarum. Fihmt Anon hux?

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  5. Anon says:

    Get your facts straight all of you before you comment….
    Its true there is a conflict of interest and it is true that all sliema players were chosen….
    The ASA chose the coach with the consent of all clubs. Maybe at the time of choosing the coach things were different.
    However when all Sliema players were chosen the national team had more than 20 players.. So basically it was the national team + sliema players… Being that he is the coach of both maybe he though I will coach them together instead of 2 different session and spend half his day coaching ….

    Everyone knows that Afric is the best coach for Malta… and maybe he chose some extra SLiema fringe players but when it comes to the competition the best players will play whicever club they play for.

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  6. Headmaster says:

    @Ludwig: Ludwig mur l-skola isa ghax sarlek il-hin!

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  7. Concerned says:

    The ASA should present Afric with a choice: Either coach a local club or the Malta national team. The two cannot and should not go together. That there is a conflict of interest has already been exposed. ASA quo vadis?
    RC issemmiex affarijiet tal-misthija. Ghax jekk nibdew fuq affarijiet tal-misthija li graw fil-waterpolo ma nieqfu qatt!!

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  8. steve says:

    le ma nsejtx li ha league maghna imma dik mandix x`taqsam fuq li qed jamel

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  9. R C says:

    @joe cilia….tal-misthija imma meta tintazel biex tiraprezenta il pajjizek u tirrifjuta dik tal-misthija zgur.

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  10. Matt says:

    i fully agree with Concerned and M. Caruana

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  11. Matt says:

    @ Alex Fenech
    FYI with 4 different club Sergio won the league in malta.. you forgot SAN GILJAN in which they were the first team in malta that got Sergio Afric in Malta

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  12. Ludwig Formosa says:

    With all their players in the national team and a couple of strong foreigners on the way, I think that Sliema should be awarded this year’s league title automatically!!

    It would be quite a mishap if they don’t

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  13. steve says:

    jien ghalija tal-misthija li qed jamel ghax players ta sliema li haqqom jintazlu imma hemm xi 3 players li ma haqqomx jintazlu. U hemm players iktar li haqqom … hija tal-misthija li jazel zewg goalers li wiehed qatt ma laghab 1st division u hemm goaler ta san giljan ma jintazilx imma players li haqqom jintazlu ima ma jazilomx. Jien ma andi xejn kontra afric ghax coach tajjeb imma meta jkun ma nazzjonal andu jara interessi ta malta u mhux tal-club ta sliema ghax hekk qed jamel hu

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  14. Alex Fenech says:

    U halluna! Minn fuq illi ghandna coach ta kalibru bhal-Afric nippruvaw naraw kif se nitfghu dell ikrah … only in malta.

    Afric huwa l-uniku coach li rebah il-league ma 3 clubs Maltin u jaf il-loghba Maltija sew, jigifieri ahjar thallu lil-ASA tkompli b’dan il progett

    Forza Malta

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  15. Concerned says:

    Yes. L-ASA li trid taghmel. Tahseb li hadd ma jista ghaliha.

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  16. M. Caruana says:

    I don’t really follow waterpolo, but I think that an investigation is required in this situation.

    Conflict of interests are sometimes inevitable in this small country, but is it possible that we cannot find a coach who is not involved with any club team?

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  17. Joe Cilia says:

    tal-misthija!

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