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Poland at full strength for first time

Katowice, Poland, June 23, 2005 – Pool C leaders Poland will have their full strength lineup start a match for the first time in the 2005 World League when they play final round hosts Serbia and Montenegro in Round Five of the Intercontinental Round this weekend.

Both matches are expected to be sell out affairs as Poland’s passionate supporters are renowned for filling every last seat when Poland play at home and Polish coach Raul Lozano believes his side will definitely take advantage of that fact starting in the first game, which is played on Friday night at 17:00 GMT.
Pic: Poland's seventh player - the fans
“I am really glad that it is Katowice where we will play Serbia and Montenegro,” Lozano said. “I can assure you that the match will be ‘played’ not only on the court but also in the stands. We really count on our fans, especially when we play the strongest team in our group.

“Our first line-up is finally modified with our best players. That means Zagumny, Wlazly, Grzyb, Kadziewicz, Gruszka, Winiarski or Murek, and libero Ignaczak are all fit, raring to go and will start the first match.“

With Serbia and Montenegro, last year’s bronze medallists, automatic qualifiers for the Final Round, the race for the finals ticket in Pool C is down to Poland (6-2) and Greece (4-4) – although Argentina (2-6) can still qualify if they win the rest of their matches - and two victories this weekend will keep Poland at least two points clear of their nearest rivals with two matches to play.

Polish captain Piotr Gruszka believes the home support will be the key factor also.

“I would like to emphasise that these matches [this weekend] will be top class,” he said. “My team still fights to qualify to the World League finals in Belgrade, that is why we count on our fans and their great support which will help us to improve on our fifth place finish in the World League Finals in Katowice a few years ago. I admit that it will be extremely hard to win with our opponents, because they came with their top line-up, but I can assure you that we will fight till the end.”

The second match between Poland and Serbia and Montenegro is on Saturday at 13:00 GMT.
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