The tension was rising the day before the two World League matches between the Netherlands against China.
"We get extra nervous with these home matches," said Dutch coach Peter Blangé at Firday's press conference. "In the World League, you play two heavy matches every weekend. A few of my players and I have experience in this competition, which is an advantage. It's up to us to make up for the mistakes we made last Sunday against the USA."
According to Dutch team captain Jeroen Trommel, the team's position as pool leader does not bring extra pressure. "It is nice to be the leader in the pool, but none of us feels extra tension because of it. China is a strong opponent and we will focus on improving ourselves ánd the team."
Zhou Jianan, the coach of China, said that only six of his players were present at the Olympics last year in Beijing. "The rest of the team is new, which explains our precariousness last week in Italy. As a player, I am familiar with Blangé and I know how strong the Dutch are."
Chinese team captain Qiong Shen also has a lot of respect for the Netherlands. "In 2005 we played the Dutch for the last time and lost all the matches. We expect to learn a lot this weekend."
During the press conference, the cooperation between the Dutch Volleyball Federation and the city of Apeldoorn also was confirmed. "We are really happy to have the World League here in Apeldoorn," said Marcel Wegman, Alderman of Sports in the city. "As a municipality, we prefer to host a sporting event that is a combination of world class and "normal," and we found a similar thinking organisation in the Nevobo."
Nevobo managing director Marcel Sturkenboom was involved in the planning of the building of the new Omnisports centre while he was working with the Dutch Olympic organisation NOC*NSF. "I think the result is incredibly beautiful and sincerely hope that the cooperation between our federation and the city of Apeldoorn will be an example to others."