FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Czechs optimistic ahead of encounter with World League pool E leaders Portugal

Czech Volleyball Federation Vice President Robert Urbanek is joined by Czech coach Zdenek Smejkal, Czech team captain Ales Holubec and libero Martin Krystof at the press conference in Opava

Opava, Czech Republic, June 25, 2014 - On Wednesday, representatives of the Czech Republic's team discussed the penultimate week of FIVB World League pool E action ahead of their encounter with Portugal in the Silesian capital Opava.

Speaking about his team's two matches away to Korea, coach
Zdenek Smejkal said: "We went to Suwon in order to win both matches, which we unfortunately failed to do. The boys showed problems with acclimatisation to the seven hour time zone difference, especially in the second game. The comeback in the third set came too late and it wasn’t enough to have an effect on the euphoric home team."  Smejkal, who expects difficult matches against Portugal, also commented that: "The Portuguese are, in my opinion, playing very well as the team are very well prepared technically. They have many great players especially Alexander Ferreira and Andre Reis Lopez."

Smejkal has made several changes to his squad. Marek Beer, Martin Christopher, James Vesely, Jan Kuliha, Adam Bartos and Pavel Bartos are returning to the team. Vladimir Sobotka, Kamil Baranek and David Juracka have been left out. The Czech team currently features fourteen players and two players will be dropped.

"Now we have recovered from the jet lag after traveling back from South Korea. We have already had some training and we are fully prepared for the next two games. The little things and determination to go for victory will be decisive elements of the games. I simply believe that the Portuguese are a playable team and that we can beat them twice at home," said Czech captain Ales Holubec.

Libero Martin Christopher did not play in last weekend's two games in South Korea: "I spent a whole week with the family, relaxed and gained strength. Now I am totally ready for the two matches in Opava. I believe that in front of the local fans we will put on a good performance and will celebrate two victories in our two last home clashes."

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