Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 25, 2013 - The coaches of the 20 teams participating in the FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship will be focusing on obtaining good results and improving the performance of volleyball’s future stars. But they are also aware of the potential for surprise during the competition.
Brazil and China currently hold the record for the number of titles in this FIVB age-group competition. However, they know not to take anything for granted in order to avoid any surprises. Meanwhile, new comers like Algeria, Tunisia and Slovenia coaches are keen to make their mark on the competition.
The following are quotes from the coaches taken from a press conference held at the Sima Thani Hotel after the technical meeting on Thursday.
Algeria coach Kamel Rabi
“We want to compete with good teams from all over the world. Also, we want to extend our experience against strong teams like Brazil and USA. We would like to thank the organisers for holding this competition. We had two experienced players who participated in the World U20 Championship in the Czech Republic last month, Nawel Hammouch and Yasmine Abdel Rahim. We conducted only training camps before the competition and didn't play any friendly matches.”
Argentina coach Guillermo Caceres
“Of course, it’s a very big tournament. And it’s very difficult for us as the world’s best teams are here. We will give our best effort to every game and see how we go. I can’t for the moment say what are expectations are. We came here in order to gain experience. We want to compete with great teams from all over the world. It will be difficult to win because there are so many good teams especially from Asia like Japan and China.”
Brazil coach Mauricio Thomas
“Good luck to all the teams competing in this tournament. I think it’s very difficult to play this tournament. The Brazil players are experienced and young. We will try to develop our skills against other teams especially as we are drawn in a very difficult pool C.”
China coach Ruijun Dong
“Our preparation for this tournament has only taken place over one month. We want to show our ability and high standard of our team in this tournament.”
Dominican Republic coach Wagner Roberto Rocha Pacheco
“Like the Brazil coach said, we are in the group of death (Group C). We are in the same group as Brazil and USA who are big contenders to win the gold.”
Egypt Assistant coach Maged Moustafa
“We will try our best to improve our team and achieve good results. We had local preparations only at the Olympic Centre in Cairo for the past two months. We had also joint training sessions with the first national team and we played three friendly matches against them - we lost two and won one match. We have to look out for Thailand and Serbia as they are stronger than our regular competitor, Tunisia."
Greece coach Dimitrios Floros
Did not attend
Italy coach Luca Pieragnoli
“We want to perform as well as possible. We know it’s very difficult as there are many good teams competing here. There are many strong teams in our group including Chinese Taipei and Peru. But we will try our best. We hope to get a good result. Good luck to all of you.”
Japan coach Ichiro Hanzawa
“We believe that my players have good technique. I’m optimistic that we will get a good result in this tournament. Our objective is to win the gold medal here and we rely on our setter.”
Mexico coach Matias Estanislao Va
“Our team’s preparation is very good. We have to concentrate on each game. That means we play game by game. It was a very long trip to Thailand. We are ready to face our opponents in the competition. We have already planned how to play our rivals. It’s quite difficult to compete against the world’s top teams. We will try our best, anyway. We are in the difficult group with teams like Italy, Turkey and Peru.”
Peru's coach Natalia Malaga Bibos
“We are glad to participate in this tournament. It’s new experience for a new generation. We will prepare for the world-class team. We are the very first team arriving in Thailand on July 16. We came here early because we found that it's very convenient. This is the same team which competed at the U20 World Championship in Czech Republic last month.”
Poland's head coach Grzegorz Kosatka
"Thailand has shown all the participating teams great hospitality. We will play our best. We finished second at the Youth Olympic Festival in Europe. We made it to the semi-finals in the last three tournaments. Our goal here is to advance to the quarter-finals. We know it’s very difficult to compete in this tournament. We will try our best.”
Puerto Rico coach Juan C. Rodriguez
“We are happy to be here. We are so excited to play in this tournament. We have to take on Egypt, Thailand, Tunisia and Serbia. We will do our best to advance to the second round in the best position.”
Serbia coach Mrs Marijana Boricic
“We had a very good preparation for the U18 Worlds because we played in a tournament in Europe before the Youth Olympics in Europe, where we finished second. It will be a very good start for us if we can make it to the quarter-finals. For us, to reach the final eight teams is a good result. Tunisia and Egypt might be very easy for us in Pool A, but we have to think about Thailand and Puerto Rico.”
Slovenia coach Jože Casar
“It’s our first time here, but we are ready for the competition. Our target it to make it to the quarterfinal.”
Thailand coach Apichat Kongsawat
"Welcome to Thailand, the Land of Smiles. We are hosts and are in Group A with Tunisia, Puerto Rico, Serbia and Egypt. We have been training intensively for six months. We will do our best for our home fans because we would like our senior team to succeed.”
Chinese Taipei coach Lo Chung-Jen
“We hope to prepare our team well and we also hope to get benefit from this tournament. Good luck to each team.”
Tunisia coach Mrs Rim Ben Slimane
“We come to play with the best teams from around the world. We need experience. We hope to reach a good outcome here as we need to improve our ranking and at least beat the other African teams.”
Turkey coach Mehmet Bedestenlioglu:
“We are the defending champions and we would like to get to the same level this year. It’s a very difficult tournament. Every game is very important. Good luck to all the teams.”
USA coach James Stone II
"Actually, we were in training for a very short time for this tournament. So, we hope to compete well and play as hard as we can. Our expectations are high but the team has come together in a very short time. Our pool is very strong and our main goal is to get experience. It’s a very exciting tournament.”
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