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Esperance dream of Club World Championship glory

Esperance receiving the 2014 African Men's Club Championship to claim an FIVB Club World Champs ticket

Cairo, Egypt, May 3, 2014 – With four African Club Championship trophies in their name, Tunisia's Esperance will seek another glory when they represent Africa in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship in Belo Horizonte, Brazil May 5 to 11.

Despite losing to Etoile du Sahel last week in the 2013-2014 local league, the Tunisians are looking forward to make a name for themselves at the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship. 

"We had a successful season where we won both the Arab and African Club Championships within two weeks, and now we are searching for another era," said Esperance coach Foued Kamoun, ahead of departure to Brazil.

"We need to represent Africa in the proper way this time after our neighbours Sfax represented the continent last year, achieving a lone victory in the competition. We need to be the first ever African team to qualify to the semifinal."

Esperance's outside hitter Elyes Karamosli feels happy to play in the prestigious event after a great season with the Tunisian giants.

"I'm happy to play in three major competitions this year, starting with the Arab Club championship where we crowned with the gold medal,” he said. “Then, we won the African Club Championship after beating the record holders Ahly of Egypt. Now we are facing a world-level event, which is really exciting."

Esperance earned a ticket to the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship after claiming the 2014 Men's African Club Championship title in Sousse, Tunisia with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-14) victory over record holders Ahly of Egypt in the competition final March 29.

The African champions won their eight matches in the continental championship and dropped only three sets throughout their campaign to earn the African trophy.

Esperance is considered one of the most famous volleyball clubs in Tunisia, as the multi sports club is the most popular in the North African country. After being away from the continental Awards for 14 years, Esperance won the African title early this year with a star studded team that include eight national team stars.

The popular Tunisian team earned the African title four times – in 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2014 – as well as 20 local titles. 

Setter Mahdi Ben Cheikh, middle blocker Bilel Ben Hassine, Opposite spiker Hichem Kaabi and outside hitter Elyes Karamosli are some of the National team stars who will play in the 2014 FIVB World League later in June, along with Russian Alexander Sorokoletov.

This will be the second time a team from Tunisia has participated in the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship since 2009. Sfax took part in last year’s tournament, which was also held in Brazil.

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