Warsaw, Poland, June 6, 2013 – For the first time in twelve years, Poland’s capital Warsaw will host an FIVB World League match as the city gets set to hold today’s opening Pool A match between Poland and Brazil.
Poland is looking to defend their title, after
winning last year’s FIVB World League Final for the first time in history. This
is set to be a busy year for the country as Poland gets set to co-host the Men’s
European Volleyball Championships with Denmark this September.
This year’s team has been rejuvenated, with the inclusion of two young wing-spikers – Wojciech Wlodarczyk, who makes his debut in the national team and Dawid Konarski. They will play alongside middle-blocker Andrzej Wrona who was in the broad squad last year, but did not play much.
“We have been working very hard, we still do,” said Marcin Mozdzonek, captain of Poland's National Team.
Poland was not very successful at the 2012 Olympic Games in London finishing in joint fifth place with the USA. Brazil, on the other hand, managed to get over a disappointing sixth place finish in the World League, to take home the silver medal in London, after losing an emotional final to Russia in five sets. Although Brazil’s team is young and there are some new players, they should not be underestimated.
“I am not trying make excuses,” said Brazil's coach Bernardo Rezende during the official press conference. “I had to make some changes.”
This year's team lacks one of their brightest stars, Murilo Enders, who has to undergo a shoulder surgery. Giba, Sergio and Sidao, also very popular among the fans, have decided not to play this season.
The White-Reds and Canarinhos played
against each other five times last year with Poland winning four matches.
An official press conference was held on Thursday where the teams played a set at the National Stadium, which is still being considered for the opening game of the 2014 World Championships.
“What we can see here, a volleyball court on a huge soccer stadium - well, that looks interesting,” said Mozdzonek proudly.
The Pool A match between Poland and Brazil will take place on Friday, June 7 at 17:45 local time.
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