Dennerley Using Memories of the U.S. As Guide To Olympic Glory|
April 13, 2012
Story by Australian Water Polo Inc.
Each week between now and the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games, AWPI's Road to London series will profile a member of the Aussie Stingers or Aussie Sharks team. This is your chance to get to know the stars of the show a little better.
Australian men's water polo goalkeeper, Chester Hill's Joel Dennerley, is set to line up in his first National League All Star game tomorrow in Canberra having missed out on the inaugural 2011 edition.
Dennerley, who will represent his beloved UNSW Wests Magpies at the All Star fixture, has spent the last four years playing polo in America building his reputation as one of college water polo's greatest ever players.
Dennerley has not only won four NCAA championships and All-American selections, but he is the University of Southern California's all-time saves leader as well as the 2011 National Player of Year, leaving him as one of USC's most decorated stars.
Now, as the 24-year-old eyes off a berth in the Aussie Sharks 2012 London Olympic squad, the star keeper has taken time to reflect on what has been a whirlwind adventure as he searches for more glory in the next few months.
"It certainly has been a great experience for me," Dennerley told AWPI.
"I have come away with a degree, I have definitely improved as a player, and to move my way into the national team in that time has been a huge step forward.
"If you go back a few years when I was at Sefton High and you'd ask me if thought I'd be where I am today, I would have said no.
"So to have been able to go to the states and now be on the cusp of Olympic selection is very exciting and quite rewarding."
For Dennerley's coach, Aussie Sharks mentor John Fox; Joel's progression has been nothing short of amazing.
"It's quite a feat for Joel and to consider he went to America as a junior and is now in line to be the number one goalkeeper at the London Olympics, it's very impressive," Fox said.
"On top of all that I think he is the first player to win four individual championship rings in the American college competition so it's great that he has been able to fly the Aussie flag."
Dennerley is currently one of four keepers in contention for two keeping spots on the London plane and with just over two months remaining until the squad is announced, is eager to keep the golden run going.
"Making the Olympics would mean realising a childhood dream," Dennerley said.