Tehran, Iran, June 20, 2013 – Coach of World League debutants Iran, Julio Velasco said “it is an honour” to be playing in the World League for the first time.
The coaching legend told media on the eve of his side’s opening World League match at home where they will take on Serbia in a Pool B clash in Tehran on Friday (12:30 GMT) and Sunday (12:30 GMT).
“It is our honour we are in the World League for the first time,” Velasco, who has previously coached Italy to five World League titles, said. “We are in a strong pool, and we will learn from our matches against powerful teams. Last week we played against the champion of the London Olympic Games Russia. Now we are going to play against the champion of Europe.
“Serbia volleyball is a good role model for our sport. We will learn from Serbia. This year Serbia team has new players in its combination; they are a big talent in volleyball.
“To predict the result of the match is not easy. Our team never enters to the play to lose but I am not saying anything about the result prior the match. I should say we are ready to fight. We will do our best.
“Iran Volleyball, its fans and federation should be proud of its players. They will do their best on the court. By having the goal to win, you can gain experience, while stepping on to the court without a will to win, you cannot gain experience. I promise hard work, playing to win and learning while playing.”
Meanwhile, Serbia coach Igor Kolakovic said his side is looking to bounce back from their two defeats to Russia last week, which followed two opening wins in Cuba. “I am happy for playing Iran. We will play against the best team of Iran, and our matches would be tough. We respect Iran, since Velasco is one of the best coaches in the world. Last year we played some matches. We won some sets and we lost some others. We will have a tough match on Friday. We will do our best during the matches to ensure we obtain our goal of going to Argentina.”
Iran will play their first two World League home matches ever, when they meet Serbia. The countries have played each other twice, when Iran came from behind to beat Serbia 3-2 in the 2011 World Cup in Tokyo, and Serbia won 3-0 in the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament in Nagoya. By sweeping Iran, Serbia would equal their second best ever start since competing as an independent country. They also won four of their first six in 2012, one win shy of their record from 2010.
Following this weekend’s matches, Iran will go on to play Italy and Cuba away before returning home to host Germany.
The top two teams from Pool B will qualify for the World League Finals in Argentina.
FIVB World League Live Scoring
VolleyWorld relives the action of the 2013 FIVB World League
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 8, 2013 – After six weeks of intense volleyball action during the Intercontinental Round of the 2013 FIVB World League, ... More...
The start of an era
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 23, 2013 - As the excitement of the World League Finals winds down, Andrea Zorzi takes a look back at the action and why h... More...
Canada jumps in rankings after World League performance
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2013 – The Canadian men’s national team’s exceptional performance in the 2013 FIVB World League has resulted in a seve... More...
Every point was made of gold - Spiridonov
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - Alexey Spiridinov says 'every point was made of gold' as Russia overwhelmed Brazil 3-0 in the final match of... More...
We were surprised by Vettori - Sokolov
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - Tsvetan Sokolov says the unexpected appearance of young Italian wing spiker Luca Vettori was the difference ... More...
Young Vettori makes a point as Italy win bronze
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - Young Italian star Luca Vettori led Italy to their first World League medal since 2004 with a 3-2 win agains... More...
Russia become three-time World League champions
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 – Olympic champions Russia became the third country after Brazil and Italy to win three or more World League t... More...
Russia beat Brazil in straight sets to claim third World League title
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 – The Olympic champions and world No. 2 Russia defeated Brazil 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) to claim their third ... More...
Same Olympic matches, different World League teams
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - The medal deciders at the 2013 World League Finals are exactly the same as last year's matches at the 2012 O... More...
Vettori leads Italy to bronze on Finals debut
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 – World No 3 Italy repeated their London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal result by beating Bulgaria 3-2 (21-25... More...