The Indian U19 Boy's team head into
their first World Championship full of
confidence having won the U19 Boy's Asian
Championship in April, their first major
Volleyball title at any level.
was a superb performance by this young
Indian side, who beat defending champion
Iran 3-1 (25-23, 30-28, 23-25,25-20) in
Now the side, under coach G.E.
Sridharan, a former international, and
captain Rathish Nair head into the World
Championships with an air of believe that
they can do equally well on the world
stage. A thorough preparation programme
through a month long, seven hours a day,
national training camp in Visakhapatnam
and Bangladore is testament to our
seriously they are taking their chances.
Despite the general reservation from
many in Volleyball circles, Sridharan has
his eyes on a medal and he told the Times
of India newspaper recently that he firmly
believes it is possible.
"No, it's not big talk," he
said. "One considers the standards of
the senior teams of the top countries like
Brazil, Italy and Russia while making
comparisons. The difference at U19 level
is not so big and I believe we could be in
contention for a medal if the boys play to
In an ominous warning for the other
countries Sridharan says his side is even
playing better now than during the Asian
Championship, particularly in reception
and in blocking at the net.
Still, India has a big assignment ahead
of them with four-time champions and 2001
winners Brazil, Poland and the Czech
Republic in the same pool (c).