The Czech Republic comes into the World League for the first time with a
rich volleyball history however, their more recent form doesn't
do it justice.
Following two World Championship titles in 1956 and 1966 and a silver and bronze medal at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics the
strength of the Czech Republic men's team has tended
to wane and they have struggled to recapture those
Currently ranked 19th in the world, the Czech Republic was seriously affected by a lack of talent in the early 90s, finishing ninth at the 1990 World Championship before failing to make the 1994 event.
They did mange to return to the World Championship fold in 1998 but 19th place was
very disappointing. In 2002 under the leadership of Julio Velasco
the team took part again in the World Championship but the 13th-place finish was again worse than everybody expected.
Now, the 2003 World League is seen by many in the Czech Republic as a good chance for their side to recover some of the loss ground over the last decade or so, playing against top class opposition
from around the world.
While many of the national men's team play in France, including the likes of Jakub Novotný, Marek Novotný, Ivo Dub, Jan Jarolím, Jirí
Popelka, Lubomír Stanek, other players from Belgium (Peter Plátenik), Germany (Jaroslav kach) and Switzerland (Petr Zapletal)
are prove that their is some talents in the ranks. The rest of the squad includes young and promising players
Michal Rak and Luká Tichácek coming up through the junior ranks
and Rak, inparticular, has been singled out as a volleyball star of the near future.
Under the guidance of two new coaches in Pavel Rerábek and Jirí Vojík the Czech Republic will be looking for some
more promising results and any top 10 placing will
be a great start.