Germany ready to cap successful summer with berth in 2010 World League
Germany coach Raúl Lozano is in the process of preparing his players for matches this week against Venezuela
Lausanne, September 16,
2009 — The German Men’s National Team will play Venezuela this Friday and
Saturday in the second and final round of qualifiers for next year’s World
If head coach Raúl Lozano’s
charges stand victorious Saturday, superstar Jochen Schöps and his teammates will
become the first team ever to qualify for the World League in this inaugural
year of qualifiers that have featured four challengers — Germany, Egypt, Mexico
and Iran — and Venezuela and Japan, the two incumbents who finished last and
second-to-last, respectively, in the 2009 edition of the World League.
The Germans are fresh off
their appearance at the European Championships in Izmir, Turkey. On late Monday
night the team gathered in Riesa in preparation for the upcoming clashes with
The two matches will cap a
successful summer for the Germans. Their first scalp came in the European
League, where they stunned European Champion Spain 3-2. Germany followed that
up with victories over Finland and Belgium to achieve a main target for the
season: qualification for the 2010 World Championship.
Later they advanced from
the first round of 2010 World League qualifiers (twice beating Mexico in
straight sets) and finished a satisfactory 6th at the European
Championship. Despite not qualifying for the 2011 European Championship with a
4-2 win-loss record, Germany took solace in the fact that both their losses
came at the hands of the eventual finalists, Poland and France.
But before they can sit
back and reminisce about their achievements this summer, the players still have
to find the energy to deliver the goods against Venezuela.
It will not be an easy job.
The South Americans are known as a very athletic team that really enjoys
playing. They are also an experienced team that have honed their skills against
the world’s top teams in the World League over the past few years.
However, in the last
edition of the World League, head coach Jose Gutierrez’s men could only muster
a single win against Finland. After that they lost eleven matches in a row
against Poland, Brazil and Finland, which is why they are now playing Germany
for the right to remain in the elite men’s competition.
Schöps is optimistic about
the matches: “Even though the summer has been long, I think physically we are still
in good condition. Lozano knows exactly what we have to focus on in training.
“I don’t know anything
about Venezuela because we have always concentrated only on the next event at
hand, and recently that meant we were focused on the European Championship. But
I think Lozano has collected some material and we will start to study it today,”
Schöps continued. “We have the possibility to win and all of us want to play in
the 2010 World League. Accordingly, our will to win is very high.”
The team in Riesa will
consist of the same 14 players who played against Mexico in the first round of
2010 World League qualifiers and at the European Championship. Venezuela has a
roster of 12 players.
Team Germany: Patrick
Steuerwald, Ferdinand Tille, Eugen Bakumovski, Max Günthör, Sebastian Schwarz
(alle Generali Haching), Georg Grozer, Marcus Böhme, Markus Steuerwald (alle
VfB Friedrichshafen), Robert Kromm (Verona/ITA), Georg Wiebel (z.Zt. ohne
Verein), Jochen Schöps (Odintsovo/RUS), Simon Tischer (Piräus/GRE), Björn
Andrae (Valentia/ITA), Dirk Westphal (Taranto/ITA)
Team Venezuela: Delvi Yustiz
(Yaracuy), Jorge Silva (Regatas san Nicolas), Luis Diaz (Modena/ITA), Pedro
Siso, Juan Carlos Blanco (Karava), Ronald Mendez (Bolivar), Ernardo Gomez
(Toyoda Gosei/JPN), Carlos Tejeda (Almeria/ESP), Thomas Ereu (Taviano/ITA),
Francisco Soteldo (Lara), Enderwuin Herrera (Episcopal), Freddy Cedeno (Teneriffa/ESP)