Saquarema, Brazil, September 21, 2010 – Up until last week, Fernanda Garay was ready to travel to Tokyo to report to her new club NEC where she will play next season. But a call from Jose Roberto Guimaraes, coach of the Brazilian women changed her plans.
Fernanda Garay has been drafted into the preliminary squad following Mari's injury at the FIVB World Grand Prix finals last month
With injuries to both Paula Pequeno and Mari during the final of the FIVB World Grand Prix resulting in them missing the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Japan from October 29-November 14, the coach called on Fernanda.
"I was not expecting this call, » she said recently « It is a golden opportunity that fell into my hands. I was going to go to Japan on June 15 to introduce myself to the NEC. But Ze Roberto called me last week and invited me to training. I was surprised. Now, I hope to stay with the team and compete in the competition. I will make every effort to help the team in whatever way possible. »
Although ready for the opportunity to fight for a place in the team, the player still has sympathy for Mari and Paula.
"I am very happy to be here training and searching for my spot in the selection, » she added. « However it’s bad that it’s been this way, with Paula and Mari hurt. I know that before the injury, the group was already pretty much set for the World Championship. But now I will dedicate myself and work hard.»
After winning silver at the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix the women's team returned to training in Aryzão, the FIVB Development Centre in Saquarema last Monday. Ze Roberto said he did not intend to make any further announcements until the tournament.
"I still have questions to define the group for the World Championship but I do not recall any other, » he said. « Of the group of players we have here with us, we will select the 13 or 14 who will compete the competition. »
Mari, who had an operation on her right knee last Saturday, has no chance of playing in the tournament and is likely to be out for six months. Paula Pequeno, who suffered a broken left ankle, should return in three weeks.
"I'm still hoping for the recovery of Paula, » Ze Roberto added. « I keep hoping till the last moment. Mari is a great loss. She is a major player on and off the court. But Fernanda Garay has now arrived and is training very well. »
The women's team will travel to Japan on October 20 for the period of acclimation. Before that, the team will play friendlies against 2010 FIVB World Grand Priy champions USA.