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Player's Profile 

Chaïne Staelens

A return to Volleyball against all odds

In Avital Selinger’s Dutch team she is one of the strongest and most inspirational players. Not only on the court with her play but also off the court, especially since she has fought back from a career threatening knee injury to return to the top ranks of Dutch Volleyball.

Chaïne Staelens, 24, has had to overcome a lot of difficulties in her career so she has a very clear opinion about the way she and her team can return to the top of women’s Volleyball. The first step is to perform well during the Grand Prix 2005.

“The difference between the participating teams is not so big,” says the 1.94m tall outside attacker. “So that’s why I think we have a good change to reach the final round,”

Staelens played as a young girl in the Grand Prix editions of 1997 and 1999 and has great memories about the event. “Okay, we didn’t reach the finals on those years but I learnt of lot during those tournaments,” she said. “I remember a match against Cuba in 1997 when I was 16-years-old. I blocked an attack and started shouting in the direction of the Cuban girls, but my team mates told me immediately that it was not a smart thing to do because they will only play better if you behave like this. That was one of my first big lessons in top-Volleyball.”

After her promising start in the national team, Staelens’ star career was stifled by a bad knee-injury in the 2002-2003 season. She was out of the game for a long period and missed the 2003 Grand Prix, when the Netherlands finished in a surprise fourth place, before returning to the court at the 2003 European Championships. “When I returned to the court I never thought that I would ever play at the top-level again, but my passion for Volleyball gave me the power to fight back. I am very proud and happy that I am back in business again and I’m enjoying every day of it.”

The Dutch national team missed the Olympic Games of 2000 and 2004 but the new coach Selinger wants to lead his side to Beijing in 2008. The son of the famous Arie Selinger proved last year during the World Grand Prix qualification tournament in Turkey that his team is moving in the right direction. “We did win every match and got a lot of confidence and also during the preparation for this Grand Prix there where signs that we are doing well,” Staelens said. “We started this summer-program with a two week trip to China and we made a lot of progress. I am not sure if we will reach the final round this year but I know for sure that we have a chance.”

Anyway, Staelens (who played last season for the Italian club Reggio Emilia) is definitely looking forward to returning to the World Grand Prix after so many years out. “It is very nice to play in Asia. Everything there is well organised, the accommodation is beautiful and the crowd is always very nice. And we will do everything to enjoy the public and ourselves.”

 

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Personal Data

 
 
Shirt No: 4
Age: 38
Height: 194 cm
Highest Spike: 316 cm
Highest Block 299 cm
National Selections
OG: 0 WCH: 19  Others: 252
Actual Club:

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*   “I blocked an attack and started shouting in the direction of the Cuban girls, but my team mates told me immediately that it was not a smart thing to do….” “When I returned to the court I never thought that I would ever play at the top-level again, but my passion for Volleyball gave me the power to fight back.” “I am not sure if we will reach the final round this year but I know for sure that we have a chance.” *
 

See also ...

 
 
 Manon Nummerdor-Flier
She is one of the rising stars of the Dutch national team and in Volleyball she has a bright future ahead of her. Manon Flier, 21, not only wants to perform well during this World Grand Prix, but also has big plans for the Olympic Games of 2008 in China
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