Declan Hutton was included in the “Tournament Team” that was selected at the King Edward water polo tournament last weekend. It was a notable feat because he was in a young Jeppe team that did not do very well results-wise, yet his play caught the eye of the coaches at the event who make that selection.
Jeppe have a very young side – 10 of the 13 are in grade 11 or younger – so they never expected to finish high in the rankings, but the positive thing is that they never lost by more than three goals in any of their games, playing against some of the top teams in the country. Declan’s performance as a goalkeeper had a lot to do with those results.
“I felt that we were just marginally below the level of our opponents,” he said. “We led at times in most of the games and with a bit of luck we could have won any of them. In fact, I’d say that if we played in the final we wouldn’t have lost by more than a few goals to ether if those teams.”
Declan will be travelling to Brno in the Czech Republic next month (if the Caronovirus doesn’t lead to a cancellation) with the SA under-17 team. It will be the third time that he will be representing the country, having played for the national under-16 team in two tournaments last year.
He is positive about the Jeppe team this year. “The core of the team will be back again next year, and we have improved as the season progressed. I think we will be force to be reckoned with in the third term when all of the schools have lost their matrics.”