May 23, 2003 - The Spanish national men's team will be missing star receiver Enrique De la Fuente and setter Jordi Gens for their opening 2003 World League Pool A match against Poland in Valencia on Saturday afternoon.
De la Fuente, one of Spain's favourite and most experienced players with over 200 caps, will miss the first week due to personal reasons while Gens, a replacement for number one setter Cosme Prenafeta, suffered a wrist injury during training earlier in the week and will be covered by Alfonso Flores.
Spain is counting down the remaining hours to its 2003 World League debut with a mixed feeling of anxiety and nervousness. All members of the squad know the importance of this year's edition of the tournament, since the World League Finals are to be hosted in Madrid this July.
No mistakes are allowed and any bad performances in the Intercontinental Round will definitively tarnish the play of the host team in the Finals. The players are focused to start the World League with a positive result on home soil and are also eager to avenge the painful 3-1 defeat to Poland suffered in last year's World Championship, eliminating Spain from the tournament.
The Spanish team for the first round of the 2003 World League is: Rafael Pascual, Gustavo Saucedo, Luis Pedro Suela, David Sanchez, Alexis Valido, Cosme Prenafeta, Alfonso Flores, Carlos Carreno, Guillermo Falasca, Jose Antonio Casilla, Jose Luis Molto, Juan Jose Salvador, Manuel Berenguel and Manuel Sevillano. The national head coach, Francisco Hervas will decide at the last minute, which libero (either Alexis Valido or Manuel Berenguel) and one other player to omit.