Neptunes rebut ASA statements

Monday, April 26, 2010, 17:54

Neptunes WPSC refer to the press release issued by the ASA yesterday regarding the waterpolo national team’s participation in Turkey this week. In it, reference is made to the selection problems faced by the national coach Afric, and specific reference is made to the large number of Neptunes players who did not join the national team, some of them mentioned by name. Also, particular emphasis is made on the exclusion of our player Steve Camilleri, giving, what in our view is an incorrect and unfair picture of the situation.

For the record, the number of Neptunes players originally chosen by the ASA to form part of the group of 25, was seven not eight as wrongly stated by the ASA. Niki Lanzon and Michele Stellini accepted the call up, and are part of the squad, Niki Gouder and Sean Gravina had to refuse due to work commitments, Jordan Camilleri had to refuse due to study and exam commitments, while Bryan Buhagiar was dropped by the national coach. The ASA statement states that the Neptunes contingent of players was reduced due to “work and other reasons”, not specifying what these other reasons may be, and allowing for a degree of unnecessary speculation, when there is no cause for this.Having clarified why each of our selected players accepted or refused the call up to the national team, the circumstances regarding Steve Camilleri are particular and need to be clarified, as the ASA statement just claims that he “opted to remain outside the national selection, quoting various reasons” . To anybody who does not know the facts, it would appear like Steve Camilleri is capriciously ignoring to join the national team for no valid reason, and this is grossly unfair and misleading.

Neptunes captain Niki Lanzon will be in Afric's squad in Turkey

The facts are that Steve Camilleri’s team, Bogliasco were last Saturday involved in the last league match of the Italian regular season. Had they lost the game against Roma, their commitments for the season would have been over ,and Camilleri had informed the ASA that he would be joining the national team. Bogliasco, however won the game in question, and having finished in the top eight positions of the league, qualified for a set of play-offs which amongst other commitments will see his team play against outgoing Italian champions Pro Recco on the 5th and 8th of May. Apart from the fact, that between honouring his commitments for Neptunes , Malta and Bogliasco , Camilleri has not had a break from the game for over two years, and that he has always honoured all his previous call-ups to the national team, it is clear that his only reason for not joining the national team, is his professional commitment with his club. The ASA had also indicated that they were willing to wait till last Saturday the 26th April for the outcome of the Bogliasco match, but faced with a deadline of the 20th April to submit the names of the participating players, could not include Camilleri.

The ASA is fully aware of these facts, and Neptunes would therefore like to ask why the ASA issued such a misleading statement. For good measure , our player is also accused of “ disrupting Sergio Afric’s strategic plan”! The ASA were perfectly aware of the fixture list of the Italian league which have been public since last October, so if any plans go astray, the fault lies with nobody else but themselves.

It is somewhat ironic, that a few hours after finishing the regular season in sixth position in the top scorers list of the Italian first division at only 22 years of age, and reaching heights that no Maltese waterpolo player has reached before, instead of issuing a statement to congratulate him on such an important achievement, the ASA deemed it fit to issue a press release tarnishing his reputation, by leaving out relevant facts and giving incomplete information subject to misinterpretation.

Related: Afric selects his team for Turkey


  1. k says:

    as julio cruzevi said the qualifications must not clash with any playoffs! im sure that all leagues would have stopped or games were postponed if it would disrupt the team because of players that had national team! it is a pity camilleri couldn t join our team but im sure anyone would have made the same decision if they were in his position! i also think that people have to stop critisizing! the asa do have to be a little more careful how they state certain things but when they said that it will ruin afric’s strategy it only ment that it would be harder as we will be playing without our best player!


  2. JO says:

    I really wonder what the whole idea of this issue was, as i dont recall any press releases of the sort in the past, what I recall is that on varouis occacions some national team players couldn’t join due to work, studies, etc, as was the case with Matthew Zammit last year when he did’nt form part of national team in lugano and when John Soler left half way through a tournament .


  3. ABC says:

    Julio Cruzevi: ghandek ragun. Jien kont impressjonat hazin u niskuza ruhi.


  4. julio cruzevi says:

    abc matthew zammit meta kien ma imperia gie jilab man nazzjonal for yout info….. anzi kien amel gima gej u sejjer biex jilab hemm u hawm…..
    i think neptuens a playing the parts of the victims. i mean it is obvious steevie didn’t come since:
    1) he considers bogliasco more important (rightly so in my opinion)
    2) he and everyone who has some waterpolo sense know that malta will get 3 batterings with such strong opponents and such a depleted squad…

    the mistake asa made in my opinion is that of not protesting with LEN, since malta’s most important player will be missing cos of playoffs…. it doesn’t make sense to me that playoffs clash with national team duty….


  5. ABC says:

    Meta Matthew Zammit bir-ragun baqa jilghab ma Imperia s-sena li ghaddiet u ma giex man-nazzjonal, l-ASA ma harget ebda stqarrija. Sewwa qal J, SHAME. Isthu!


  6. J says:

    shame on the ASA for deciding to issue such a statement !


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