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Serbia expecting tough match against France

Vasa Mijic, Bojan Janic, Igor Kolakovic, Philippe Blain and Oliver Kieffer at the Press Confrerence

Belgrade, Serbia, June 29, 2010 - Serbia are set to face France in the fifth weekend of the 2010 World League knowing that victory at home will almost guarantee them a place in the Final Round.

Serbia won both their matches away in France, but this does not mean France can't come back to upset the home fans.


The Press Conference held today was organized in the City of Novi Sad in the presence of Mr. Philippe Blain, Head Coach of the French team, Mr. Igor Kolakovic, Head Coach of Serbia, Mr. Oliver Kieffer, Team Captain of France, and Mr. Bojan Janic, Team Captain of Serbia and Vasa Mijic, Executive Director LOC in Novi Sad.



- We can only promise to play hard, as we did in the previous matches. These two matches with the French will be more difficult because now the pressure is on us. We are almost there and we cannot miss this opportunity to qualify for the Final Tournament. Of course, we have to remain calm and to go one step at the time and I am sure that we will reach our goal. We are a little bit weary from the trip to China, but nevertheless I hope that we can find strength to overcome this challenge and win these important matches with the help of our faithful fans. – Mr. Bojan Janic, Team Captain of Serbia, said.


- It would be important for us to win at least one match and avoid the possible play-offs. That is our main goal. – Mr. Oliver Kieffer, Team Captain of France, said.


- It is always important to win, but obviously we lost our chances to qualify for the Final Tournament, so our goals are changed now. We have to use these high level matches to prepare for the World Championship in Italy and we are totally focused on that. Of course, as my Team Captain said, we also have to think about the possible play-offs and because of the tight calendar we cannot jeopardize our place in the World League since it would be a real disaster for us. – Mr. Philippe Blain, Head Coach of France, said.


"It will be something completely different from the matches we had in France" Igor Kolakovic, Serbia's coach said. "The French team will be stronger with Rouzier playing, and now the pressure is on our side. Two victories against France would mean a lot to us, but we have to push very hard in order to accomplish our goal. We have to deal with the pressure, we have to put a lot of effort, and we have to be 100% motivated. We wish to show good performance in front of our fans, and I hope that they will carry us all the way to victory."


The first match will be played on Friday from 5pm local time while the second match is scheduled for Sunday from 8.15pm local time.


The two sides have played each other 36 times with Serbia picking up 22 wins to France's 14 matches with set ratio 79-65.

In the FIVB World League, Serbia (Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro) and France have played 15 matches with nine Serbia victoies to six for France with a set ratio of 33-27.


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