Paris, France, September 16, 2010 – France’s most experienced player with 295 caps Stephane Antiga is preparing to play in his third FIVB Men’s World Championship after participating in the 2002 and 2006 editions.
It is exactly 12 months to the day that you played your last game with the team of France. You lost a European final where you had wept. You still think of that moment a lot?
“Frankly, I do not think about too much but I have thought a lot during the first few months about the season advancing with new goals, time has done its work. It is true that it is one year but I do not have that feeling because I'm training for a month with the France team. I have not played games for France for a while but I'm excited as the competition starts.”
2010 FIVB Men's World Championship page
You play your club Volleyball in Poland, this is not the best place to digest the result in the European final (when France lost to Poland)
“Yes there were lots of award ceremonies for my teammates, celebrations ... I did not connect too much, I expected much worse.”
At your age of 34 years, how do you find the motivation again especially during preparation?
“Tell me about it, ages. The motivation for weight lifting and the physical workout, you find within yourself, thinking that this will take through the season. Without this work, you get nowhere in Volleyball. It is a must. I hurt everywhere for two-three weeks but now I feel good. Before resuming in early August, the long rest has done me good, I rested in Mallorca at home with my family and friends.””
Four months is a long time without playing and for the whole group who has played matches since the World League?
“We're refining the settings. We needed to work on our speed and simulate matches more during trainings. There are interesting things, which we will continue to work on. The warm-up matches await us with the “Tournoi de France”. Once we start, everything will fall into place.”
The 2010 Men’s FIVB World Championship World begins in eight days, it will be your third. Your teammates are young, do they ask you about this great event?
“Not yet. It's actually something very different from the European Championships but the fact that it is in Italy, it feels like there is less pressure. Eight years ago we went on tour in Brazil before the Worlds in Argentina. Then in 2006 to prepare for the World Championship in Japan, we made preparations in South Korea. This time, it has not really sunk in because we have been preparing on the biggest playground of all in Dunkirk and Calais.”
Changes have taken place in the team especially with the arrival of young players. What is your view of the squad?
“Pierre Pujol returned and in fact there is something new, particularly in the middle. Everyone is very involved. I like the young players; they are gifted and very nice. For their age, it is impressive and bodes well for French volleyball.”
Do you still share a bedroom with captain Oliver Kieffer?
“Oh yes of course. The bedroom is well-organized. We grew up ... Everything is perfect and frankly the players should emulate in the way we live. (Laughs). »
France is in Group E with Bulgaria, Czech Republic and China in Turin once the 2010 FIVb men's World Championship starts on September 25.
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
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