May 02, 2003 - With the domestic season having finished and the launch of the World League only three weeks away, the German national men's volleyball team went into their first training camp of the season today in Friedrichshafen. Coach Stelian Moculescu has gathered most of his World League squad to begin a rigorous 10-day camp, including three days of fitness tests, to get them up to speed before heading to Russia on May 15 to join the world number one ranked team in combined training sessions.
The camp in Russia will be followed by another one on their return to Germany in Heidelberg, where they will be joined by the Netherlands in what should prove ideal preparation for a German side that is eying up a chance to make serious inroads on the international volleyball circuit ahead of the European Championships at home.
However, this year's World League assignment is increasingly looking daunting for a side, which finished ninth in last year's World League but is currently ranked 23rd in the world. Starting on May 24, Germany start their pool play by traveling to Sao Paulo, where they'll play 2002 World League finalists Brazil. The world number two-ranked team and Portugal and Italy will definitely provide Germany with a clear appraisal of their progress.
The German squad in training: Björn Andrae, Christian Pampel, Ilja Wiederschein, Norbert Walter, Armin Dewes (all VfB Friedrichshafen), Marco Liefke, Frank Dehne, Eugen Bakumovski (all SCC Berlin), Michael Mayer (TSV Unterhaching), Till Lieber (evivo Düren), Stefan Hübner (Montichiari/Italy), Ralph Bergmann (Roeselare/Belgium) and Georg Wiebel (Maaseik/Belgium), Mark Siebeck (Olsztyn/Poland) and Wolfgang Kuck (Montpellier/France).
Only Sebastion Prüsener (TSV Unterhaching), Jochen Schöps (VC Olympia Berln) and Simon Tischer (VC Eintracht Mending) are missing. Prüsener will not join the team until June 6 when he has finished his education; Schöps after the WCH qualification of the juniors (May 23-25 in Spergau) and Tischer after his rehabilitation from torn ligaments.