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Just like last year, Aleksandar Ivović is the first pick on the draft. He was selected by Uroš Stevanović. In the first round, there were 3 players from Hungary selected, 2 from Serbia and one of each from Montenegro, Croatia, Spain, Greece, and Australia.

Last night, 10 experts have gathered on this year’s fantasy draft. In picking order, they were: Uroš Stevanović, Andrei Iosep, Romain Buche, Vjeko Kobešćak, Juga Vasović, Marko Šapit, Jure Marelja, Sean King, Dragan Jovanović and Balasz Vincze.

With a lot of joking around, tactical remarks, well-meant suggestions and the other kind, advice for player swaps, but also a top preparation for the draft, the player selection phase went much quicker than in previous sessions. For that happening, there were 4  debutants as the cause:

Romain – and even last night you could see why Marseille has won the first European trophy in french water polo last season, Jugoslav – so influential that he arranged his first bench manager the first pick on this draft as well, Marko – once again has proven why the TV broadcast of the Croatian national team from large tournaments in the recent time has been spared from harsh critics of danč and Sean who has immediately organised media support:

10 rounds of the draft for 10 players gave us exactly 100 chosen picks. 16 teams of 13 players which totals to 208 players on this World Championship. So 108 of them are left undrafted of which 2 can be drafted in before the start of every new round.

The game consists of 7 rounds of fantasy. Not all players are going to show up in the same round, that’s why it is important to figure out a tactic and smartly fill the bench until the 4th round.

Although, from 208 players only 195 of them have found their place on the draft. FINA has this unusual rule that players can apply to the first match up to 24 hours before the start. This is why still no team has their team comp posted on the official WC websites. And how Korea is the host, and participant, we couldn’t get to their team member list. It didn’t quite harm the regularity J.

In order, in the first round of the draft, these were the picks:

  1. Aleksandar Ivović (MNE) CB
  2. Marko Bijač (CRO) GK
  3. Denes Varga (HUN) LS
  4. Nikola Jakšić (SRB) CB
  5. Balasz Harai (HUN) CF
  6. Daniel Lopez (ESP) GK
  7. Dušan Mandić (SRB) RS
  8. Iannis Fountoulis (GRE) LS
  9. Joe Kayes (AUS) CF
  10. Gergo Zalanki (HUN) RS

Ivović was the first pick last year too. He was picked by Elvis Fatović who won first place. He was the most effective back position and  in total, second place after Fountoulis which is now the 8th pick. Two interesting picks are the two goalkeepers, Bijač and Lopez, and Del Lungo was the most effective goalkeeper and whose Italy has the easiest group, in the third round.

On all positions, up to two players were picked in the first round. In total, looking at the teams, most of them are Hungarians (3), then Serbs (2), and then one of each, Montenegrin, Croat, Spaniard, Greek and a neuropean, a New Zealander who plays for Australia, Joe Kayes. Looking at club membership next season, Pro Recco and Ferencvaros have 4 players each, and the OSC is also announced, as well as Barceloneta.

In total, between the 100 picked players, most of them are Croats and Serbs, 12 each (only the other goalkeepers, Marcelić and Dobožanov didn’t find their name in someone’s fantasy team). Followed by the Italians and Spaniards, 10 each, and then the Greek, Hungarians, and Montenegrins by 9. Except Korea who wasn’t really in the offer, only South Africa didn’t present their representative in this draft.

All participants were fully prepared for the draft and for fooling around. Only Jure was late, so the popular “up” choose his first 3 players. Besides the fierce battle for victory and draft enlisting, on the list of eternal winners behind Dragan Jovanović and Elvis Fatović, it will be interesting to see some announced duels between Uroš and Juga, Sean and Andrej, Vjeko and…, almost every duel brings out mutual prodding and carries prestige.

The first round on the schedule begins on Monday, and the first match is starting at 1:30 our time. The brilliant FINA, as always, has the derby of the first round between Serbia and Montenegro scheduled at 8:30 local time?!

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