FIVB Beach Volelyball World Tour

U21 World Championships Umag, Croatia | 19 - 23 June 2013


Press release

The secret of the Croatian beach volleyball success

Zrinka Sutalo (back) and Sara Radanovic are one of Croatia's talented youth teams

Umag, Croatia, June 21, 2013 – The Croatian teams are doing really well on home soil at the FIVB U21 World Championships in Umag. Three out of four teams advanced to the elimination rounds on Friday, two even as pool winners. So what is the secret to their success?

“It all started three years ago with a new youth programme. The result you are witnessing here”, Grga Trimcevski (33) explained. He is the national selector for beach volleyball in Croatia and also Tournament Director at this event.

“We were going to host the U19 World Championships and we started a programme with ten young players per gender, 15 to 16 years old. Our main goal was to make some serious beach volleyball players out of them and in the end get them ready for the World Tour and the Olympics.”

'The FIVB age group concept is perfect'

This was totally new in Croatia, beach volleyball is generally seen as a recreational sport, organized at beach clubs. There is a National Tour as well, but not on a high level. “There is no money for teams to travel, so this FIVB concept with three big junior world championships a year and the CEV junior events are perfect for us.”

Until the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 the Croatian teams will play at junior and youth events and in some satellite tournaments. “After Rio we want to start on the World Tour with two or three of the teams that play here in Umag now. They will be around 23 years old by then and will start in the new Olympic cycle.”

In the mean time Trimcevski has a new group of 15 and 16-year olds waiting. “We will try to get some young players into the qualification event for the Youth Olympic Games in 2014.”

Not losers anymore

Since 2010 Trimcevski has seen a lot of progress in his players. “In the beginning we went on these trips and did not win a set. Now they are here, top of their group. We are not the losers anymore.” He sees a lot of potential in Zrinka Sutalo (18) and Sara Radanovic (17). “At this young age they are already national champions.”

Trimcevski is very passionate when he talks about the programme and his teams. He wants them to succeed where he did not. Trimcevski played on the World Tour from 2001 till 2008, mostly with Kresimir Peric. “I did not make it, I had nothing, no coach, no support.”

Pedro Solberg

Trimcevski did have the opportunity to go to Brazil one time due to a generous friend. “He just gave us money, told us to buy balls, a ticket to Brazil and go the nearest beach there and practice. Somebody saw us and gave us the address of a beach volleyball club.” He ended up training with a very young Pedro Solberg and his sisters Maria Clara and Carolina.

“I did not realize then, but later when Pedro won all these junior events I recognized him.” Trimcevski learned a lot in Brazil but in the end his best result on the World Tour was 25th. “We had no support, we were always fighting. That’s why I want to help these kids.”

FIVB U21 World Championships Tournament Page 

FIVB - International Volleyball Federation 
FIVB Video

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

24.06.2013 21:49:47
Beach volley legend Loiola still as passionate as ever

Umag, Croatia, June 22, 2013 – Brazil’s José Loiola was one of the most colourful beach volleyball players of the past decade. Passion was his tradema... More...

23.06.2013 23:23:39
Brazil and Poland claim gold at U21 World Championships in Umag

Umag, Croatia, June 23, 2013 – Brazil and Poland are the new U21 world champions. In the men’s final of the FIVB Junior World Championships in Umag Gu... More...

23.06.2013 23:02:11
Gold for Brazil after a spectacular men’s final in Umag

Umag, Croatia, June 23, 2013 – Brazil and Canada got people jumping up and down in their seats at the U21 World Championship final in Umag. Both teams... More...

23.06.2013 15:22:44
Canada and Brazil meet again in the men’s final in Umag

23.06.2013 00:29:18
Two Polish teams in final fours at U21 in Umag

23.06.2013 00:01:15
Poland’s Kosiak and Rudol take revenge for friends

22.06.2013 23:08:16
Canada’s O’Gorman and Nusbaum in final four on familiar territory

22.06.2013 16:50:03
Special intercontinental tournament during U21 in Umag

21.06.2013 23:36:56
Three out of four Croatian teams advance to elimination rounds at U21 World Championships in Umag

21.06.2013 15:21:14
A loss and a birthday present in the end for Namibia’s Hlupic

20.06.2013 21:00:16
Late arrival costs St. Lucia the match

20.06.2013 18:10:18
Benham and Kambiz want to make Iran proud

19.06.2013 18:57:06
Youth world champions Bryl and Kujawiak advance to main draw in Umag

20.05.2013 19:17:58
Indonesia and Australia lift titles at AVC Beach Volleyball U-21 Championship

16.04.2013 10:28:39
Five African countries earn U21 BVB World Champ tickets

14.03.2013 10:00:00
Beach Volleyball Age Group World Championships' cities confirmed

14.03.2013 09:00:00
FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships page open

31.12.2012 18:13:06
Beach Volleyball Youth World Championships review - A bright future for Poland