Sedgefield gain automatic entry to Division 5 now that a qualifying tournament is no longer required. Also involved will be Watford Saxons, who dropped out after the first phase of the 2019/20 season.
The Durham club was founded in 1997 by ex-international George Carpenter, who, in 1986, became the first player to score 100 goals in a season in the former men’s National League while representing Durham City (repeating the feat the following year, with 105).
Another two decades passed before another player registered a ton – George’s son Scott! Scott starred for Lancaster before emigrating to Australia, where he represented the national team and also captained Melbourne’s Victoria Tigers to the Australian National League title.
Over the years, numerous international players have enjoyed their first water polo experience at Sedgefield. Matthew Bowden was the first from the club to play for GB men while Sedgefield provided two members of GB’s 2012 women’s Olympics team – Angela Winstanley-Smith, who later played professionally in France before coaching the New Zealand national women’s team, and Chloe Wilcox.