As you know I'm a huge enthusiast of the local waterpolo scene and it's really great to see such success, but we desperately need to restructure the entire sport in Malta and begin offering players a more professional league.
The 3 big clubs (Sliema, Neptunes, and San Giljan) are capable of attracting world-class players every year (2-3 years ago Sliema had a player who is widely considered to be the best left-handed player of all time), but our league lasts only a couple of months in summer. We have a winter league which is currently ongoing but it's the equivalent of the Audi Cup in Bayern's preseason or something like that, and it's only about 6 games long. In fact, attendance is usually horrible in the winter league.
We have good local players at all ages and our clubs can attract great foreigners, but as long as the sport isn't given the recognition it deserves all year round, we won't see success on the biggest stages.
The best example is probably Steve Camilleri. He plays for a local team every summer but spends the rest of the year playing for an Italian club (one of the best leagues). At the moment he is one of the top scorers in that league and has scored more goals than any Italian player. He also finished as top scorer of the European Championships a couple of months ago. Just imagine if someone of his calibre could play for a Maltese team all-year round and if more Maltese players had the same opportunities he had.
We will rise again! (when we stop burying our heads in the sand)