Dr Justyne Caruana, the Minister for Gozo, congratulated the Otters Under 15
Team for winning their Under 15 League. She kindly accepted the Club’s
invitation for a visit to the Ministry for Gozo where the players proudly
showed her the Cup and gave her a brief account of the events which lead to
this achievement. Dr Caruana presented every player with a commemorative
Otters Under 15 s make History…
Our under 15 team won its category and managed to gain 24 points out of a maximum 27 points to win this Under 15 Division. The team was Coached by Jean-Luc Zahra and assisted by Paul Dimech and team manager George Azzopardi. The players and officials were presented with the trophy by ASA Vice President Mr Karl Galea, Assistant National Team Coach Mr Anthony Farrugia was also present. The players and supporters thoroughly enjoyed this success !
The team line up in the photo is the following. Standing from left to right: Jean-Luc Zahra (Coach), Mattia Grech, Andrew Dimech, Gabriel Vella, Isaac Azzopardi, Matthew Farrugia, Gianfranco Gatt Ellis, Pawlu Spiteri, Jerome Attard, Paul Dimech (assistant Coach). Squatting from left to right: Luigi Dimech, Anthony Borg, Steve Bajada, Kyle Lupi-Spencer, Thomas Milne, Zac Camilleri. Missing from picture: Lara Camilleri and team manager George Azzopardi.
The Otters’ Senior Squad for this Summer’s Competitions has been further
strengthened by the arrival of Benji Lanzon. Benji, who turns 24 in a few
days’ time, came through the Neptunes youth system, and played for Malta at
all junior levels. Three years ago he moved from Neptunes to Exiles where he
established himself as a first seven player. Lately he was mostly used in
the last man position.
On Saturday 18th May, Benji Lanzon was at the Otters Club in Marsalforn to
sign the contract for this summer. Both he and the Otters’ officials are
determined that our side shall offer stiff competition to every team in the
The latest addition to the Otters Squad is veteran goalkeeper, Dean Camilleri. Dean Camilleri spent most of his career with his home town Club,San Giljan, and later with Neptunes. For a number of years he was also partof the Maltese National Team. Dean will add valuable experience to the Otters team and he will be an excellent training partner for our young keeper Matthew Xerri and at the same time providing him with healthy competition.
Ferenc Salamon will play for Otters in this year’s Summer League. Ferenc was born in 1988 and formed part of the Hungarian Junior National Team which won the Junior World Championship in Los Angeles in 2007. His first senior club was Honved with whom he won the Hungarian Cup in 2010. In 2012 he also played for Sliema in the Maltese Summer League. He moved to ZF Eger in 2012 and won the Hungarian League in 2013 and 2014. Also in 2013 and 2014 he was part of the Hungarian National Team which placed runners-up in the World League. In 2014 he signed for another Club from Budapest, OSC Ujbuda. In his first season with OSC, his new team placed second in the Hungarian Championship, and they placed third in 2016. OSC are currently on top of the Hungarian Championship together with Ferencvaros.
The Otters Committee has reached agreement with Anthony Farrugia and the ASA to appoint Farrugia as Head Coach for 2019. Anthony Farrugia is also the Assistant Coach of the National team . The photo shows Farrugia (on the left) with Karl Izzo, the Coach of the National Team.
Otters BMIT Swimming School product Maria Pia Saliba has won Malta’s first gold medal at the Special Olympics In Abu Dhabi in the 25m butterfly.
The photo below shows the Gozitan heroine showing her gold medal with proud mum Tania (second from right) and other admirers.
The Special Olympics is different from the Paralympics. The Special Olympics is for individuals with intellectual disabilities, whereas the Paralympics is generally for athletes with any disability, including physical, and only at an elite level.
Light at the end of the tunnel … finally the dream of all Gozitan waterpolo and swimming enthusiasts has begun. February 2019 has signaled the start of excavation works on the site earmarked for the Gozo Aquatic Centre, located next to the Sports Complex in Triq l-Ewropa, Victoria (see photo).
Minister for Gozo, Dr Justyne Caruana’s target is that the Pool will beready for use before the end of next year. A big thumbs up to the Minister and all those behind this project.
The Otters “New” Recruits
2018 ended on a positive note for Otters since the Club acquired the services of four key players: experienced centre Claudio Spiteri Debarro joined on a free transfer, Aleandro Mifsud was transferred on loan from Valletta, while Edward Meli and Luke Hyzler agreed four year contracts after their transfer fees were agreed with Sliema.
All those close to the Club knew that the Otters Committee has a lot of admiration for left hander Luke Hyzler and centre Edward Meli. During the past four years these two young promising players spent a few seasons on loan with Otters and they left a very good impression with the Club’s administration. So when Sliema decided to put Luke and Edward on the transfer market, Otters left no stone unturned in order to acquire their services and met Sliema’s asking fees for their transfers. Edward and Luke both signed four year contracts with Otters at the offices of the Club’s main sponsors, NIVEA.
The photo shows from left to right (Otters official Andrew Zammit, Adrian Salomone Managing Director of VJ Salomone local agents of NIVEA, Aleandro Mifsud, and Paul Dimech Otters Vice President).
Otters ASC have signed Milos Filipovic as one of their foreigners for 2019. Milos was born in Belgrade Serbia on the 13th of March 1992. Nowadays he has dual Serb and Dutch nationality. He is a left hander weighing 92 kilos and 190 cm tall.
He started playing waterpolo at the age of seven with Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade. He played in all the Club’s junior ranks and formed part of the senior team which won the double in 2010. In this period he trained under several famous coaches such as Darko Udovicic, Igor Gocanin, and Igor Milanovic.
He then moved to Red Star Belgrade for a two year stint, and played under coaches Viktor Jelenic, and Dejan Savic. During this period, in 2011 Red Start placed third in the Serbian Cup and the Serbian Championship, and in 2012 they were runners-up in both competitions and reached the semi-finals of the LEN Eurocup.
Milos then signed for Zak Kikinda, coached by Igor Gocanin. In 2013 he was the best scorer of the team and fourth on the list of the best scorers in Serbian Competitions with 28 goals.
From 2013 to 2018, he played for AZC Alphen, in the Netherlands. The team was coached by Ron van der Wild, and later by Nemanja Stevanovic. During these years he won both the Dutch Championship and the Dutch Cup and managed an outstanding goalscoring tally averaging three goals every game !
Last year Milos moved to his present club, Olympic Nice in France.
National team career:
Milos Filipovic played for all youth selections of the national team of Serbia with whom he won several international competitions.
Recently, he obtained Dutch citizenship, and is a current member of the Dutch national team. Last summer he played in European Championships in Barcelona in which Holland placed tenth. He has played twelve games for Holland in which he has scored eighteen goals.
Unfortunately two persons with close links to Otters passed away in the last few days of 2018. These are Tony Borg, the father of our young player David Borg (in picture), and Alex Tonna who was the Otters goalkeeper in 2001 (the tall player in the middle of the back row in the team photo). Condolences to their families and may they Rest in Peace.
The photos show Luigi Dimech (left) and Isaac Azzopardi (right) before their departure with the Malta Under 13 team to train and play in Catania Sicily.
Otters ASC U13 Training Camp at Ortigia Siracusa: 1st July- 7th July 2018
Date of birth: 1983.01.08.
Place of birth: Budapest
Family status: married to Klari. They have two childen. Gordon (6), Abigél (3)
First team: BVSC
Present team: A-HÍD-OSC-Újbuda
As Waterpolo Player
Teams he has played for:
BVSC-Brendon (HUN) (–2004)
ZF-Eger (HUN) (2004–2007)
Domino-BHSE (HUN) (2007-2008)
Budvanska Rivijera (MNE) (2008-2009)
Groupama Honvéd (HUN) (2009-2012)
ZF-Eger (HUN) (2012-2014)
A-Híd OSC Újbuda (HUN) (2014-)
In the Hungarian National Team
195 times appearance in the Hungarian national waterpolo team
Youth European Championship: winner (2001)
Junior European Championship: silver (2003)
Junior European Championship: silver (2002)
FINA World League silver (2005, 2007, 2013, 2014)
World Cup: silver (2014)
World Championship winner:
1x (2013 Barcelona)
World Championship: silver (2017)
European Championship: silver (2006, 2014), bronze (2016)
Hungarian Championship winner:
2x 2013, 2014 (both Eger)
silver 2015 (OSC)
bronze 2001, 2002, 2003 (BVSC) 2005, 2006, 2007 (Eger) 2008 (Honvéd), 2016, 2017 (OSC)
Hungarian Cup winner:
2x 2003 (BVSC), 2010 (Honvéd),
silver 2004, 2005 (Eger), 2007, 2011 (Eger), 2014 (OSC)
Hungarian Super Cup winner:
2x 2003 (BVSC), 2007 (Honvéd)
Montenegrian Cup winner:
1x 2008 (Budva)
David Dimech and Matthew Xerri have just returned from a ten day training camp with the junior teams of Ortigia Siracusa. This was made possible by the former Otters foreign player Marko Jelaca who featured prominently for Ortigia during this season. During their visit they also watched the Play Offs and the Play Outs for the Italian A 1 League which were played at the Ortigia Pool. Photo shows David and Matthew at the Ortigia Pool.
New Otters Player Dominique Zahra wins Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer Awards in the British Under 19 National Waterpolo Championship – click here to read more.
Otters have acquired the services of Dominique Zahra (see photo). Zahra is a
talented youngster holding dual British and Maltese Nationality. In 2017 he
formed part of the Great Britain team which competed in the LEN European
Junior Water Polo Championships Qualification Tournament.
17 year old Zahra is a member of Warrender Water Polo Club of Edinburgh, and
has also represented Scotland at both junior and senior levels.
In the space of six days the absence of a heated fresh water pool in Gozo which can be used throughout the year, was highlighted in an article published in the Times of Malta on Monday 19th February, and in the editorial of the same newspaper on Saturday 24th February (read the articles by clicking on the links).
It is encouraging that Malta’s leading newspaper is giving ample coverage to this unfortunate state of events in Gozo. Hopefully these appeals will not fall on deaf ears and the authorities take action without further delay !
On Sunday 29th January a fund raising activity was held by the Club at Villa
Fiorita in Marsalforn. An encouraging number of persons turned up,
especially players from the Under 13 team and their parents.
During Christmas Drinks held on the 28th December, Otters Aquatic Sports
Club officially announced the engagement of Keith Grima Scott as Head Coach
of the Senior Team for 2018. On the same occasion experienced goalkeeper
Keith Schembri signed for Otters.
Photo (176) shows Keith Grima Scott (second from left) and photo (175) shows
Keith Schembri (second from left) surrounded by Club officials while
completing the formalities.
Luke Hyzler wins the First Division Best Player Award for 2017
Luke Hyzler’s marvelous season for Otters was rewarded by him clinching the First Division Player of the Year Award for 2017. The young left hander and fast swimmer was loaned to Otters from Sliema for a second season. His remarkable progress was evident and his eye for goal have made him a very dangerous player. Well done Luke and good luck for the future ! You have made Otters so proud !
BOV Player of the Year Awards 2017 – here
Four young Otters were called up by the National Team Coaches for a training camp. They are, Isaac Azzopardi, Andrew Dimech, Matthew Farrugia and Gabriel Vella. Well done lads !
*Read the ASA circular in full here
Click here or onto image below for full size version
The BMIT Swimming & Waterpolo School came to an end with the presentation of certificates by the Minister for Gozo, Dr Justyne Caruana (see photos). This year’s edition attracted over 120 girls and boys. Head coach Mr. John Borg, together with his dedicated team of coaches and assistants, successfully managed to carry out this project notwithstanding the lack of basic facilities these young Gozitan swimmers have to face year in year out.
Otters Under 11s win Tournament.
On the 20th and 21st September 2017, the Otters Under 11 team won a Waterpolo Tournament organized by Sportmalta at the National Pool. This event was held to commemorate the European Week of Sports. Our young heroes won all games, that is against Sliema, Neptunes, San Giljan, Marsascala, Exiles and Sirens !
See attached photos.
Otters goalkeeper Matthew Xerri (first from left) has just finished playing in the Under 17 European Championships with the Maltese National Team. Matthew was used in the last session of the games against Serbia and Slovakia and did quite well. It was a huge achievement for Matthew to reach these levels considering that he cannot train properly in winter since we still do not have a pool in Gozo.
Well done Matthew !
Matthew Xerri selected for the Malta Under 17 National Team.
Otters BBQ Tuesday 5th September 2017 – click here or on icon below
Player of the Month Awards – July 2017.
Two Otters players have landed the Awards for July. Centre Edward Meli won the Player of the Month while Luke Hyzler was runner up. This is an incredible feat considering that the same awards for June were won by Otters players.
Edward Meli’s undoubted skill and strength in the centre, coupled with his scoring abilities, are one of the main reasons for the team’s improved results during this season. Although he is still a relatively young player, Edward’s knowledge of the game is second to none and he has given the team much needed punch in attack.
Luke Hyzler, who won the Award for June, managed to clinch the runner up spot for July. This achievement once again confirms the great season Luke is having.
Player of the Month Awards June 2017 – Otters win both Awards !
Promising left hander Luke Hyzler won the Player of the Month
for June. Luke’s speed and sharp shooting have left a very good impression
on all the followers of the First Division. Although still an Under 20
player Luke is showing a rapid improvement becoming one of the key players of the Otters team.
Young Matthew Xerri is the Runner Up in the Player of Month award forJune. His solid displays in goal have caught the eye of many, including the National Team Coach, Mr Karl Izzo. Matthew is still an Under 17 player but his natural talent and willingness to improve are an asset for both Club and Country.
Click here or on image below to open application form for Otters BMIT Water Polo & Swimming School 2017
Otters Aquatic Sports Club have engaged Mr. Erik Valter as Coach for the
coming season. Mr. Valter is an experienced Hungarian Coach. With the
assistance of Mr. Alfred Cachia, he will be responsible for the Senior
Squad. He will be also giving a helping hand in the coaching of the Club’s
Mr. Valter formally signed for Otters on Saturday 15th April at the Club in
Marsalforn. In the photo he is flanked by Club President Enzo Dimech and
Treasurer Jean Paul Buttigieg.
During the Awards Ceremony for Gozitan Sportsmen and Women held on Saturday 8th April 2017, Gozo Minister Dr. Anton Refalo announced that works on the Swimming Pool in Victoria should be starting in June/July this year. A virtual tour of the Complex can be taken by clicking on this link.
David Dimech was runner up in last Saturdays Promising Young Sporstman Award in the Annual Awards Ceremony organized by the Gozo Sports Board. During 2016 David secured his place in the Otters Senior Squad while playing as a shared player with the Exiles Under 17 team. His speed and swimming abilities are second to none and with some more experience David Dimech can become a valid waterpolo player for many years to come.
Otters Nivea have continued strengthening the senior team for this coming
season by signing Luke Hyzler, Gabriel Mizzi, Michael Borg Millo and Edward
Meli. Further information will come up soon.
Otters have just signed experienced player Charlie Zammit. He is the Club’s
second major signing of the year, after the capture of goalkeeper Joseph
Sammut. Zammit’s inclusion will give much needed experience to the young
Otters squad. Charlie Zammit has had a distinguished career by featuring for
the Maltese National Team for a considerable number of years, and playing
for his boyhood Club Valletta and also winning Maltese National League
Titles with Neptunes and Sliema.
The photo shows Charlie Zammit with Club President Enzo Dimech (left) and
Club Treasurer Jean Paul Buttigieg (right).
On Wednesday 25th February 2017, ASA President Mr Joe Caruana Curran and ASA General Secretary Ms Rita Azzopardi, came to Gozo for two meetings.
The first meeting was held at the Gozo Sports Complex where the top two ASA officials and a delegation from the committee of Otters ASC met Gozo Sports Board CEO, Mr Alvin Grech and Secretary Mr Joe Bajada. The main topic was the beginning of the works on the construction of the Gozo Swimming Pool. Mr Joe Caruana Curran highlighted the benefits of such a Pool and the importance of having the project concluded as quickly as possible. The Gozo Sports Board officials reassured those present that all efforts are being done so that works shall start in the coming months.
The second meeting was held at the Otters Club in Marsalforn. Here the Otters committee members raised various matters for discussion such as the Winter Competitions for 2017, the inclusion of a second foreign player, refereeing and administrative costs. A healthy discussion followed.
On the 12th November 2016, Otters ASC committee members George Frank Mizzi,
Paul Dimech and Enzo Dimech travelled to Busto Arsizio to watch Marko
Jelaca’s BPM Sport Management play Brescia in a top clash in Italy’s A 1.
The game ended in an 8 – 8 draw. After the game the Otters’ officials spent
a pleasant evening with Marko and his family. Marko Jelaca was engaged as
the Otters foreign player during the Summer of 2016.
Otters Aquatic Sports Club – AGM 2016
Press Release issued by Otters Aquatic Sports Club on the 16th July 2016
On the 14th and 15th of July 2016, strong winds hit our islands, especially Marsalforn which is badly affected by northerly winds.
In the beginning of June of this year, the waterpolo club Otters ASC after several weeks of intensive work by its’ various committee members have put in the sea a brand new waterpolo pitch inside the bay Marsalforn and restored the netting which surrounds the pitch preventing jellyfish entering into the same pitch. Apart from the work involved in setting up the pitch, a considerable amount of money was spent by the Club to purchase and deliver this pitch from abroad.
These collective efforts made over a span of several weeks vanished in the space of two days when gigantic waves caused extensive damage to the same pitch and netting.
Currently Otters ASC cannot hold training sessions for their players whilst the team is competing in the waterpolo championship. Therefore the competitivity of the same team and preparation for future games will suffer a huge and serious setback.
Furthermore the Swimming School that Otters ASC organises every summer, in which more than 100 children attend and benefit from, is severely threatened because of this storm and the state of the pitch. The complete destruction of the breakwater has exposed this popular tourist resort to gigantic waves which year in year out destroy everything that stands in their way.
Otters ASC urges the competent authorities to prioritise the re-construction of breakwater as soon as possible in order that the effects of waves are mitigated and stresses that the construction of a pool in Gozo has become a must.
Dr. Enzo Dimech Dr. Daniel Calleja
President Otters ASC Secretary Otters ASC
Otters have engaged the services of Marko Jelaca for this Summer’s competitions. Marko was born in Zagreb Croatia on the 15th December 1982. He is 205 cm tall and weighs 105 kg.
He started his professional career in 1999 with his hometown club Mladost. He moved to Medvescak for one season and returned to Mladost in 2001. He played around 250 games during a six year span in which he scored 150 goals. With Mladost he won the Croatian Championship and the Croatian Cup twice and finished in the third place in the Final Four of the Champions League.
In 2007 he signed for one season for another Croatian club, Sibenik NCP . He played 45 games scoring around 30 goals and finished third in the Croatian League. A year later he moved to Jadran Herceg Novi in Montenegro, with whom he won the Montenegrin League, and finished runners up in the Cup and the Adriatic League.
In 2009 he earned his first contract in Italy with Brescia Leonessa. He played around 50 games for Brescia in the process of which he averaged more than 1 goal every game. During this season Brescia came third in the Italian League and Cup and were eliminated in the semi-final of the LEN Cup.
In 2010 he returned to Croatia where he played three seasons for Primorje ESB, during which they always placed as runners up in the Croatian League, won the Croatian Cup and the Adriatic League in 2013 and placed second in the Final Four of the Champions League in 2012.
Seasons 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 saw Marko in the colours of Como Nuoto in Italy. He played around 60 games for Como scoring more than 80 goals in the process.
In 2015 he joined his current team, BPM Sport Management, with whom he placed third in the Italian A 1 and in the Italian Cup.
Marko is also a former Croatian National Team Player. He earned his first cap in 2004 and played 20 times for Croatia netting 15 goals. During this period Croatia ended fourth in the World League in 2005, in the World Cup in 2006 and in the Mediterranean Games in 2006.
In 2010 Marko Jelaca was called up by the National Team of Georgia with whom he qualified for the 2014 and 2016 European Championships. He has played around 50 games for Georgia for whom he has averaged 2 goals per game.
Maria Pia Saliba, the Gozitan seventeen year old swimmer has just returned from the Special Olympics held in Cyprus with an impressive haul of three medals: a gold in the 50 m X 4 individual medley, a silver medal in the 25 m butterfly and a bronze medal in the 50 m backstroke. Maria Pia began her swimming career in the Otters Swimming School. Head Coach Mr. Alfred Cachia
immediately realized her potential and introduced her to the swimming coaches of Special Olympics Malta. Through Maria Pia’s hard work and the continued support of her parents Tanya and Michael, who regularly take her to Malta in order to train, she broke into the National Special Olympics
team. The rest is now history ! WELL DONE MARIA PIA, KEEP IT UP !
Matthew Xerri selected for the Malta National Under 17 Squad.
Our promising goalkeeper Matthew Xerri has been called up for the Malta Under 17 Squad in preparation for the EU Nations Cup to be played in Austria from the 24th March to the 27th March (see the ASA Circular attached here).
Matthew’s attributes were already well known by all those connected to Otters. In fact last summer he was introduced in the Senior Team as the reserve goalkeeper and he was also given playing time. During this winter Matthew was loaned to Neptunes with whom he won the National Under 17 Winter League (see photos). Now his qualities have attracted the attention of the National Team Coaches.
His initial reaction was to thank the Otters Committee for letting him experience this new challenge. Which experience has taught him a lot of new things and thus is helping him become a better player. He hopes there is more to come because he really enjoys playing Waterpolo.
Keep it up Matthew !
Well done Malta and a big pat on the back for the Malta goalkeeper Nicky Grixti (photo) who saved two penalties in the victory over Turkey in the 2016 European Championships which ended in Belgrade Serbia on Saturday 23rd January. Young Nicky’s heroics made the headlines. We at Otters fondly remember him for the season he spent with us (on loan from Sirens) during 2013. We are proud of you Nicky !
More about the game can be found by accessing this link
On Sunday 27th December a Christmas Lunch was held at the Rangers Club in Gharb. Around fifty members, players and friends attended this most enjoyable event.
click here or on icon for more details
George Calleja – Otters ASC icon
Otters ASC owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to George Calleja, a co-founder of the club, whose untimely death on 26th July 2015 shocked and saddened his many friends and colleagues, in particular past and present members of the extended Otters family since the foundation of the only remaining waterpolo club in Gozo in 1971.
He was indeed the heart, mind and soul of Otters ASC. He served the club with exemplary loyalty and deep commitment as a key player, model captain and visionary President. His vision, determination and astute decision taking paved the way for the establishment of Otters as a household name in the Maltese waterpolo scene. His determination to widen the horizon for his beloved club and the vision he showed in convincing Otters club members to participate in competitions organised by the ASA, the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta were instrumental in ensuring a positive future for Otters ASC. The club would have died a natural death had it not been largely for George Calleja’s foresight.
The much-lamented George had a genuine passion for waterpolo and for sports in general. His knowledge of sports was profound. He could talk for hours perceptively on a wide range of sports. He embraced the values of honesty, commitment, fairness and collegiality that make waterpolo and all other sports at their best so enthralling and ennobling. George’s personal integrity, his deep-seated honesty, his sensitivity, his foresight and his continual search for constructive dialogue and co-operation when important decisions had to be taken keep on providing the beacon that will continue to shape and inspire the way in which Otters ASC tries to build on the foundations laid by George and other co-founders for a bright future. George will forever remain in the hearts and minds of all of those who love Otters ASC.
Frank Muscat, former President of Otters Aquatic Sports Club.
On Saturday 24th October a Mass was celebrated by the Reverend Father Anton Schembri for the repose of George Calleja. This took place at St. Anthony’s Chapel in Marsalforn. Afterwards most of those present had dinner together at the Club’s Restaurant. Honorary President Joseph Refalo made an address during which he recounted some of his experiences with George Calleja, while photographer Daniel Cilia prepared a series of photos showing George during his playing career, which photos took all of us present a pleasant stroll down memory lane.
click here for details
click here for details
The BMIT Otters Waterpolo and Swimming School 2015 came to an end on Thursday 27th August. More than 120 girls and boys attended the School. The pictures show the students during a group photo shoot after the final training session. This was followed by the presentation of certificates ceremony. Minister for Gozo, Dr. Anton Refalo presented certificates to all the students. They were also given a commemorative T Shirt. In a short speech the Minister congratulated Otters for catering for aquatic sports in Gozo and confirmed that the construction of a fresh water pool in Gozo should be completed by the year 2017.
GEORGE CALLEJA 19/5/1956 – 26/7/2015
The sad news that George Calleja has suddenly passed away came like a bolt out of the blue for his numerous friends and colleagues, especially those who have been associated with Otters Aquatic Sports Club since its foundation in 1971. George was one of the founder members. He served the Club as a Player, Captain, and President for several years, after which he was appointed Honorary President.
His funeral shall be held this coming Monday 3rd August at 5.30 pm at the Cathedral in Victoria Gozo.
The BMIT Waterpolo & Swimming School Registration Day was a huge success. It was held last Saturday 30th May at Arkadia in Victoria Gozo. Over seventy applications were submitted. The application forms were distributed in all Primary Schools and Forms 1 and 2 in Secondary Schools around Gozo. Find attached some photos taken during the event.
A second Registration Day will be held towards the end of June. More details will be available soon.
On Saturday 25th April a Dinner was held at the Otters Club in Marsalforn. During this activity the Otters ASC Committee formally appointed Mr. Alfred Cachia as an Honourary Life Member. This honour was bestowed in recognition of the immense contribution made by Mr. Cachia over a considerable number of years during which he coached all teams, that is the Senior Teams and also the Juniors, and was the mentor behind the extraordinary growth and development of the Swimming and Waterpolo School.
Saturday 28th February 2015 was a memorable day for our Club. Three of our
nominees were shortlisted as finalists for the Gozo Sports Awards organized by the Gozo Sports Board, namely the Senior Team for the Team of the Year
Award, Maria Pia Saliba for the Sportswoman of the Year Award, and Christian Teuma for the Young Sportsman of the Year Award. Our Team and Christian
Teuma both won their respective category while our charming Maria Pia Saliba was runner up in the Sportswoman of the Year Award. During this ceremony,
held at the Gozo Sport Complex, both Minister for Gozo Dr. Anton Refalo, and Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Chris Agius delivered speeches in which theymade reference to the Government’s intentions to have a Pool in Gozo.
click here to read document
This Summer’s Edition of the Waterpolo and Swimming School came to an end on
Thursday 28th August. Training was followed by presentation of Certificates
to all participants by Club President Enzo Dimech. The students were also
given a commemorative T Shirt. Head coach Mr Alfred Cachia thanked all the
participants and their parents as well as the hardworking Coaches and their
Assistants. The general feeling was that if we had a Pool in Gozo this
Nursery will be extended throughout the other seasons of the year with all
the obvious benefits.
On Tuesday 19th August, 2014, an Event called “Swimathon” was held at the Otters Club in Marsalforn in aid of the Inspire Foundation. The participants of the BMIT Swimming and Waterpolo School as well as the Club’s Under 15s, Under 20s, Seniors and Masters, played an active part in collecting money for this noble cause. The attached photos capture various moments during this activity.
This is the Otters Nivea team which played Sirens on the 13th June 2014.
Standing left to right: Jurgen Micallef, Ivan Vuksanovic, George Attard,
John Paris, Duncan Schembri, Andrei Edward (Player/Coach), Paul Dimech
Squatting left to right: George Louis Zammit (Captain), Zach Sciberras,
Christophe Martin, Steve Dimech, Karl Scicluna, Keith Grima Scott.
Our hardworking Under 20 and Senior Team player, Alex Borg, was included in Karl Izzo and Tony Farrugia’s preliminary Under 19 National Squad in preparation for the Men’s European U/19 Water Polo Championships 2014 Qualification Tournament held in Malta between the 7 – 11 May 2014
Alex gives a brief account of this experience:
“Last month, I was given the opportunity to train and play two Premier League games with the Maltese National Team (Under 19). It was a most remote dream come true. When called, I was beside myself with excitement and trained harder with my side, Otters, to be fitter than ever. During the first training sessions I quickly made new friends and enjoyed informal discussions with the National Coach, Karl Izzo and fellow players about the game, tactics and techniques. The games I played against players I read about all the time in the sports pages of the local newspapers in summer and I felt so proud. I did my utmost to play well and learn as much as possible”.
After the successful initiative taken these last two years by the club, the committee of Otters ASC, is once again organizing lessons in Swimming and Waterpolo, for children in Gozo. These lessons will start on the 8th of July and will run throughout the months of July and August.
BMIT, Malta’s leading Data Centre, Cloud and Managed Services Provider is, for the second year running, sponsoring this Swimming and Waterpolo School organized by Otters Aquatic Sports Club in Marsalforn Bay, Gozo. Under the guidance of Head Coach, Mr Alfred Cachia, the School has blossomed and in Summer 2013 it had close to 100 participants.
The main targets of this School are to promote and introduce swimming and waterpolo to children from the age of six upwards. With BMIT’s backing, Otters ASC have recruited a number of qualified coaches which have given the School a more professional set-up.
On Saturday 17th May, a Registration Day was held at the Arkadia Shopping Mall in Victoria Gozo (see attached photo/s) and this attracted a record number of new applicants, therefore promising a great summer of activities in Marsalforn. All those interested may still download an application from the Club’s website www.ottersasc.com
In view of the recent comments on a Swimming Pool in Gozo, the committee of Otters Aquatic Sports Club is pleased to note that:
(1) a number of entities, personalities and individuals have publicly acknowledged the need and the benefits of a pool in Gozo. A project which, apart from catering for the needs of the Gozo residents and Maltese and foreign visitors (families, youth and the aged), should serve to enhance the local tourism scene by attracting foreign swimming and waterpolo clubs. The committee publicly thanks all those who have expressed themselves in favour of this pool.
(2) Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo, has embarked on the process of researching ways of submitting an application for funds from the European Union, so that alternative energy would be the main source of heating the pool. This would ensure that the running costs are kept as low as possible.
The National Pool at Tal-Qroqq has been operating since 1993. Since then a few other pools have been built or refurbished on mainland Malta. Otters Aquatic Sports Club feels that it is Gozo’s turn to witness the construction of a pool which has been promised for so many years.
The former Neptunes, Sliema and Malta star, John Paris has signed for
Otters. He has decided to return to the local waterpolo scene after choosing
not to play in 2013. This is his second spell with Otters since he had
played for the Club in 2012. The committee has appointed him as player/coach
for the Winter League and Mr. Alfred Cachia shall be the team’s technical
advisor. For the Summer Competitions the team shall be under the guidance of
Romanian player/coach Andrei Edward and John Paris shall be one of the key
players in the squad.
Our Under 14 Team participated in an Autumn League held by the ASA. Despite lacking training facilities in Gozo, our boys , coached by Paul Dimech, rose to the occasion and bravely played against opponents who train at least three or four times a week in the heated waters of the National Pool at Tal-Qroqq.
The team photo shows: standing from left to right: Frank Ellis, Matthew Xerri, Benjamin Grech, David Dimech, Tony Valentine, Keith Bajada, Samuel Rapa, Owen Grech, Eric Vella, and Giuseppe Hili. Jan Veranneman and Joey Grech appear separately.
The Annual Christmas Dinner was held on Friday 27th December 2013 at Saint
Augustine’s Priory in Victoria (see slideshow).
The magnificent surroundings and Carol singing by the Capuchins’ Choir injected
the Christmas spirit in all those who were present. It was a thoroughly
enjoyable evening which should be repeated in the coming years. Thumbs up to
the Club’s Fund Raising Sub Committee which was responsible for the
The Annual General Meeting of Otters Aquatic Sports Club was held on Sunday 13th October. Club Officials, secretary Mark Vella, president Enzo Dimech and treasurer Patrick Sciberras (seen from left to right in photo 100 8506) delivered their respective reports which were all approved by the members present. These were followed by a discussion wherein the general feeling was that 2013 was probably the best season ever considering that our senior team chalked up 18 points in the National First Division League.
The election for the new committee was contested by twelve candidates which were all approved by the General Meeting. The Election was supervised by Daniela Sacco and Christophe Martin (see photo 165). The members on the new committee are Jean Paul Buttigieg, Daniel Calleja, Enzo Dimech, Paul Dimech, Anton Tabone, Marc Tabone, Patrick Sciberras, Mark Vella, Marlin Vella, Andrew Zammit, George Louis Zammit and Sean Zammit. Andrew Zammit is a new member on the Otters committee (Photo 169).
After the Meeting, most of the members present enjoyed a Sunday lunch together with their families at the Club Restaurant (see photos 166 and 170). Hover cursor over image for photo id.
Annual General Meeting 2013 details here
End of Season Barbecue
This year’s edition of the Swimming and Waterpolo School came to an end on Monday 9th September. Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Dr. Stefan Buontempo, was the guest of honour. He presented certificates to the participants. In his address he underlined the importance of sports being practised by all individuals and that everyone should be aware of the benefits of physical activity. He congratulated Otters Aquatic Sports Club for organising this annual School and stated that his Parliamentary Secretariat and the Kunsill Malti Ghall-Isport (KMS) were more than happy to assist these type of initiatives.
The Head Coach of the School was Mr Alfred Cachia and the Coaches were Maria Buttigieg, Maria Angela Caruana, Angelle Grima, Daniela Sacco, Mark Vella and George Louis Zammit. The School was sponsored by bmit.
The photos show some of the participants together with Dr Stefan Buontempo and other officials, and Dr Stefan Buontempo presenting a certificate to a young swimmer.
(click image to enlarge)
Ivan Vuksanovic has hit a remarkable 41 goals in seven games for Otters Nivea. In the game against Ta’ Xbiex, played on Friday 9th August 2013, he stunned the crowd at the National Pool with an amazing 12 goal tally, a club record ! During the last three games Ivan netted eight times against Marsascala, three times against Marsaxlokk (that is until he was unfairly red carded by ref Peter Giordano half way through the game), and twelve goals in the last game against Ta’ Xbiex. Well done Ivan the Goal Machine !
bmit, Malta’s leading Data Centre, Cloud and Managed Services Provider, are the sponsors of this year’s edition of the Waterpolo and Swimming School. Close to one hundred children have applied to join the School. Lessons are being held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 pm to 5 pm at the Otters’ Pitch in Marsalforn.
The Head of School is the vastly experienced swimming and waterpolo coach, Mr. Alfred Cachia. He is being assisted by coaches: Ms Maria Buttigeg, Ms Angelle Grima, Ms Maria Angela Caruana, Ms Daniela Sacco, Mr Mark Vella and Mr George Louis Zammit.
Click here for more details
Friday 24th May 2013, marked the official opening of the Summer Season. Around 130 persons attended a Party organized by the Otters ASC committee together with Melissa & Albert Lupi-Spencer, operators of the Otters Bistro. The venue was the Otters Club in Marsalforn. Entertainment was provided by local rock band SRAITAHEAD. During the event the Club President and Treasurer Enzo Dimech and Patrick Sciberras respectively, introduced Mr Adrian Salomone, General Manager of V J Salomone, importers of NIVEA products in Malta. Mr Salomone confirmed that NIVEA shall once again sponsor the Otters waterpolo teams. photos by Martina Dimech
Otters Aquatic Society Summer School 2013 – click here to expand image
Otters No.1 Rock Party 24th May 2013 – click here to expand image.
On Friday 19th October, an End of Season Dinner was held at the Club in Marsalforn. The coaches, players, committee members, wives and girlfriends were present for this activity. During this event the committee presented a memento to head coach Mr. Alfred Cachia who has decided to retire from coaching (see attached photos). On behalf all at Otters we thank Mr. Cachia for his excellent service and wish him all the best.
The Annual General Meeting of Otters ASC was held on Sunday 14th October 2012, at the Club in Marsalforn. The AGM started with reading of the minutes of last year’s AGM, read by secretary Mark Vella. This was followed by president’s Enzo Dimech’s report, the administrative report prepared by secretary Mark Vella, and the financial report compiled by treasurer Patrick Sciberras. All reports were approved by those present. There were were no amendments to the Club’s Statute. There were eleven nominations for posts in the committee, the maximum allowed by the statute. A vote of confidence by secret ballot in order to accept those nominated, is necessary under the Club’s Statue. Therefore Karl Scicluna and Patrick Martin were appointed election officers. Nineteen members were eligible to vote and all nominated candidates obtained more than 50% plus 1 votes. Thus they were all elected on the committee.
After the AGM, the committee met for the first time and Enzo Dimech, Mark Vella, Patrick Sciberras and Jean Paul Buttigieg were reconfirmed as president, secretary, treasurer and vice president respectively. Daniel Calleja, Paul Dimech, Anton Tabone, Marc Tabone, Marlin Vella, George Louis Zammit and Sean Zammit form the rest of the committee. Kevin Mizzi was confirmed as the Club’s Council member at the ASA, Anton Tabone and Daniel Calleja being his substitutes. Anton Tabone was appointed as Club Delegate for the ASA’s AGM and Daniel Calleja as his substitute. Former team captain Marc Tabone will be sitting on the Otters’ committee for the first time.
Otters AGM 2012 – click here or on image (below) to enlarge
It’s 6.30 am and summer has just begun! The committee members are on the Springboard in Marsalforn. The boom, freshly imported from Australia, is quickly hoisted by a crane from St Mary Street. The boom is unfolded, inflated and placed in the sea to secure the waterpolo pitch from jellyfish. An innovative way to protect all local enthusiasts from jellyfish stings !
Some of the older boys in this Summer’s Swimming and Waterpolo School were selected to form an Under 13 waterpolo team.The Club intends participating in the Under 13 and maybe the Under 15 Waterpolo National Leagues as from 2013. In preparation for this the committee appointed senior team captain George Louis Zammit (standing top left in the photo) as coach, and Christophe Martin and Steve Dimech as his assistants (respectively standing and squatting on the right). The main purpose being to introduce these boys to the game. Some of the boys appear in the photo. Towards the end of summer this three friendly games were played, one against Sliema and two against Sirens. During the winter months the Club intends to take the Under 13 team regularly to Malta in order to keep the momentum going !
Otters’ hot shot Zoltan Radocz (see photo) managed to net 63 goals during this season even though he had to miss the final four games, partly due to an injury and also because he had to leave early due to other commitments. This is a fantastic achievement for this young Hungarian player who is now in France playing for Enfant Neptune Lille.
Steve Camilleri (Neptunes)78
Ferenc Salamon (Sliema)59
Tamas Molnar (Neptunes)50
Csaba Kiss (Sirens)48
Marton Toth (Exiles)48
Joseph Kayes (Marsascala)87
Zoltan Radocz (Otters)63
David Zoltan (Valletta)57
Timmy Agius (Valletta)50
Yuri Szeles (Ta’ Xbiex)49
Otters Nivea failed to win the 1st Division Knockout Final by the odd goal in 23. The final was played on the 7th July 2012, and the result was Otters Nivea 11 – Marsascala 12. During this game Marsascala were awarded three penalties but the Otters goalkeeper, Adrian Cachia, managed to save two of them, one of them in the most spectacular fashion, by using his feet ! You may watch this extraordinary save by clicking on this link.
A group of around 30 persons from the Club featured in an advert which announced the opening of a Mediterranean Bank Branch in Victoria Gozo. Joseph Refalo, is the Bank’s Gozo Manager. He is a former Otters goalkeeper and committee member. He invited players, members and friends to assist as extras in the filming of the commercial on Saturday 23rd June in the Ghajnsielem Church Square. The advert is being given regular exposure on Maltese Television (you may watch it by clicking on advert – you may see it by clicking on this link .)
In exchange the Bank gave the Club financial assistance.
Otters’ Hungarian connection has been further strengthened by the siging of two Under 20 players. They will be playing for the Otters Under 20 team. These new players are Daniel Angyal (left in photo) who played for Honved and goalkeeper Miklos Racz who is on the books of Ferencvaros. The photo was taken at the Otters Pitch in Marsalforn after the training session held on Friday 29th June.
Considering that we still do not have a swimming pool in Gozo, and that we do not have an enclosed pitch in Marsalforn, the committee has been trying to devise a system which shall protect players and members from jelly fish stings. In fact the Club has ordered a protective netting to surround the pitch from an Australian company called BoomSwim. This netting shall be supported by inflatable floats all round the perimeter of the pitch. This shall be the largest protective netting manufactured by the company and in fact they have nicknamed it the Big Boom ! See photos attached.
Hungarians Mate Balatoni and Zoltan Radocz
have been confirmed as the Club’s senior team foreigners for the coming season. Mate Balatoni is currently playing in the Spanish Top Division with CN Montjuic and this will be his second season with Otters. Zoltan Radocz is plying his trade with Enfant Neptune Lille in the French League. This will be Zozi’s fourth consecutive summer season with Otters. He made his debut in 2009 in the Under 19 team and his impressive performances have earned him successive contracts to play for the senior team.
In the next days, the foreigners who will be playing for the Under 20 team shall be announced. These Under 20 players shall also be eligible to play for the senior side if the need arises.
Experienced players Keith Grima Scott, George Attard and Duncan Schembri have all re-signed for Otters and thus will be playing for our club for the third successive year. Their arrival in 2010 signalled a change in fortunes for the club and results improved instantly. Their introduction transmitted confidence in the younger players in the squad and helped create an interesting blend of experience and youth, fine tuned by coach Mr Alfred Cachia assisted by Mr Paul Saliba.
Otters Aquatic Sports Club managed to acquire the services of goalkeeper Adrian Cachia (ex. National Team, Neptunes and Exiles) and player John Paris (ex National team, Neptunes, Sliema and Exiles). These valid additions should give the team an extra push upwards, while guaranteeing the invaluable knowledge that can be imparted to the younger players.
These two players were presented to the Clubs’ sponsors NIVEA, who in turn presented Otters with the sponsorship cheque during an informal gathering at the V.J. Salomone Offices, the local agents for Nivea products.
V.J. Salomone are once again the main sponsors of Otters Aquatic Sports Club. The sponsorship has been renewed for the year 2012. This is the fourth consecutive year that Otters will be sponsored by Nivea, and the Club will be competing under the name of Otters Nivea. During the last three seasons, and thanks to the sponsorship of V.J. Salomone, through their product NIVEA, our team has been showing steady progress in its performances when competing in the ASA Second Division Waterpolo Championship. Gone are the days when Otters were regarded as an easy pushover. The committee has steadily strengthened the team through the services of well known veteran Maltese players, and an exciting group of young Gozitan players who made the grade through the club’s junior squads.
[portfolio_slideshow id=1195] The Club’s Christmas Party held at Maldonado Bistro in Victoria Gozo on Wednesday 28th December turned out to be a most enjoyable evening for all those present. It also marked the homecoming of former club captain and former club president Paul Dimech after a two year stint working abroad.
During the Party one of the Clubs young players, Patrick Martin won the Christmas Hamper (photo 418), and former club president George Calleja (photo 420) won a sandwich toaster. Current president Enzo Dimech (photo 410) wished all those attending the best for 2012 and promised a stronger team for the forthcoming season.
* photos by Ivan Refalo.
On Sunday 9th October 2011, our Club participated for the first time in a waterpolo competition outside the summer months. In fact our team played against Exiles in an Under 16 knockout competition at the National Pool at Tal-Qroqq. Although our boys had not trained for four weeks they decided to give it a try and despite that they lost heavily they made their point: they want the facilities in Gozo to be able to train all year round like their Maltese counterparts. The construction of a fresh water swimming pool in Gozo should start without further delay.
The boys in the team were (see photo above), standing from left to right: Anthony Azzopardi, Alex Borg, Malcolm Dimech, Gabriel Tabone, Paul Teuma, Patrick Sciberras, Jonathan Young, Mr Alfred Cachia (coach); squatting from left to right: Joseph Teuma, Christian Teuma, Jacob Azzopardi and Pierre Louis Attard.
A section of the members present for the Club’s Annual General Meeting held on Friday 7th October. The newly formed committee is in the committee’s template also attached. Click here for a list of the newly formed committee.
An ‘End of Season Dinner’ shall be held for the Players of the Senior Squad, the Under 16 team, Committee Members and Coaches, this Wednesday 28th September at the Club in Marsalforn starting at 7.30 p.m.
*Photos were taken by Martina Dimech
This Summer’s edition of the Swimming and Waterpolo School recently came to an end. Head Coach Mr. Alfred Cachia conducted the lessons. He was assisted by Maria Buttigieg, Mark Vella, George Louis Zammit, Christophe Martin, Mark Vella, Jean Pierre Peresso and Enzo Dimech. 40 children attended the School and the more advanced children had the opportunity to play friendly games against Sirens and Sliema.
The Club marked this event by awarding all participants certificates for attendance. Mr Alfred Cachia and Club Presidenb Enzo Dimech delivered short speeches wherein they underlined the need for a fresh waterpolo in Gozo so that training may be held all year round.
*Photos were taken by Martina Dimech
Gozo Waterpolo Cup
The first edition of the Gozo Waterpolo Club was held at the Otters Pitch in Marsalforn on Sunday 28th August 2011. This Tournament was organized by Otters Aquatic Sports Club with the support of the Parliamentary Secretariat for Consumers, Fair Competition, Local Councils and Public Dialogue.
This event was contested by the Under 21 teams of Otters Nivea, Sirens Ritter Sport and 3CX Exiles. Each team could make use of one over age guest player and one foreign player.
The three games turned out to be quite evenly contested and low scoring. Maybe the choppy sea made it difficult for the players to shoot accurately. In the first game Otters Nivea and Exiles shared the spoils. The home team was leading by one goal [more here]
The photo shows a painting drawn by Otters’ Under 16 player and promising
artist, Jonathan Young. This painting is now embellishing the Games Room at the Club. Well done Jonathan !
Saturday, August 20, 2011 , by
Alex Vella, National Pool – Commentary from The Times of Malta
In a match valid for statistics, Marsascala meat.com were after a win to extend their unbeaten run at the top of the Division Two standings.
However, they were shocked by a workmanlike Otters Nivea in yesterday’s first match which, unfortunately, also had the southenders ending the proceedings in casual fashion.
The first session did not go against the grain as Marsascala led 4-2, only for the Gozitans to take a lead of 8-7 by the end of the second quarter.
The team guided by Pierre Borg won the next session 4-3 to level matters on 11-11 before the start of the final session.
But they looked a subdued lot and perhaps disinterested as Alfred Cachia’s outfit picked their spot admirably to win the last session of the game 5-3 for a final 16-14 victory.
This success had the generous Otters ending their commitments on a bright note, with Hungarian Mate Balatoni, topping the list of yesterday’s scorers with five goals.
(4-2, 3-6, 4-3, 3-5)
Marsascala : S. Farrugia, C. Spiteri de Barro 1, M. Pace, Mil. Koralji 4, D. Caruana, E. Arrigo, J. Licari 3, J. Cremona 1, S. Micallef 1, R. Scerri 2, D. Cassar, A. Zammit 1, Mih. Koralji 1.
Otters : J. Cremona, G. Attard 2, G. Zammit 2, Z. Radocz 3, D. Schembri 2, K. Scicluna, M. Balatoni 5, S. Dimech, S. Xerri, E. Farrugia, C. Martin, P. Martin, K. Grima Scott 2.
Refs: R. Spiteri, P. Giordano.
14th July 2011 – This season’s Waterpolo and Swimming School starts on Thursday 14th July. Training sessions shall be held at 4 pm at the Clubs’ premises in Marsalforn Bay under the direction of head coach, Mr. Alfred Cachia. All children may attend.
Otters 40th Anniversary acknowledged (see picture to right)