Albury Sharks duo Brooke Dickie and Bridget Johnston to do battle with world's elite water polo players

TOP OF THE CLASS: Brooke Dickie and Bridget Johnston, both 18, are off to the FINA world youth water polo championships in New Zealand. Picture: MARK JESSER

TOP OF THE CLASS: Brooke Dickie and Bridget Johnston, both 18, are off to the FINA world youth water polo championships in New Zealand. Picture: MARK JESSER

ALBURY Sharks water polo stars Brooke Dickie and Bridget Johnston will play in the FINA World Youth Women’s Championships next week.

The duo are the only country players to make the side to compete in New Zealand.

Their selection keeps Dickie and Johnston in the mix to make the Australian side to play in the world youth championships in Europe next year.

“It was great when we heard our names called out,” Dickie said.

“The majority of the side is from Sydney, Perth and Queensland so we are pretty much the only country players in it.

“It will be fantastic.”

Dickie and Johnston, both 18, are presently honing their skills at a camp at Canberra.

The side is training with a Chinese club team before playing the US, Hungary and Germany in practice matches.

Dickie said Australia had high expectations in Auckland.

“I think we have a great chance of finishing in a good position,” she said.

“I think we can get top three.

“Our team expectations are to do well.”

Johnston is thrilled to make the Australian side after going through an exhaustive selection process.

“It’s very exciting,” she said.

“It’s the highest standard we can play for our age and it will be tough competition.

“I think it’s a relief after all the work you put in.

“We have had national championships, camps and all that over the past two years and now it’s just going to be great to play in New Zealand.”

While Johnston expects every match to be tough, she said the US, Italy, Hungary and Greece would take beating.

Dickie and Johnston will be based in Sydney next year and have committed to Sydney University Lions.

The pair have been regularly travelling to Melbourne and Sydney since breaking into state sides as 14-year-olds.

“It’s been a big commitment,” Johnston said.

“Travelling with someone has been a big help to us both though.”

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