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Milestone man: Local water polo legend Corey ‘Duck’ Smith played his 350th game on the weekend

Derek GoforthGeraldton Guardian
Corey “Duck” Smith with his 350-game banner.
Camera IconCorey “Duck” Smith with his 350-game banner. Credit: Derek Goforth/Derek Goforth

Corey “Duck” Smith, the heart and soul of the Geraldton Water Polo Association, achieved his 350th game milestone on Saturday that was celebrated over the weekend.

Playing for the men’s A-grade B52’s side, Smith has not only showcased his prowess in the pool, but also demonstrated his leadership as a coach and mentor, both to the team and the younger players within the association.

During his milestone match, the B52’s side emerged victorious in the game over the Rats 7-4, securing a place in the upcoming finals. It was a testament to Smith’s dedication and leadership.

The 37-year-old veteran, known affectionately as Duck, expressed his mixed emotions after the game.

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“To be honest, before the game, I was more nervous than the 349 that preceded it because it was my first game in two months after a fairly serious hand injury, but really happy that we got the win which guaranteed us a finals berth,” he said.

“That’s most important, at 37 years old now, I’m hoping to kick in until I’m 40 and aim for 400 A-grade games.

“Super humbling and grateful to the B52’s and the GWPA that I’ve been able to play at the top level of this great game.”

His wife, Emma Smith, who is also a player for the B52’s, couldn’t hide her admiration and pride for her husband.

“He wouldn’t have made it past 50 games if it wasn’t for me — I’ve taught him everything he knows; just kidding,” she said.

“Water polo is a huge part of our lives, and Corey’s passion and determination are so inspiring.

“He guides and mentors kids from all clubs; you can just see they respect and adore him.

“People like Corey make sport enjoyable, I’m in awe of my husband.”

Association president Anouska Barnes said the association appreciated the commitment Smith had for the league and they were proud of his achievement.

“The GWPA is extremely proud and grateful to have such a significant milestone celebrated over the weekend with one of our association’s delegates hitting a massive 350-game milestone,” she said.

“Duck has been president, committee member, coach, and all-round amazing volunteer of our association for years.

“His support, help, and guidance in all things polo are priceless, we look forward to watching him play for many more years to come.”

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