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France ready to step up preparations for World Championship qualifiers

France's fans are hoping to have more to cheer at the World Championship qualifiers
Paris, France, December 22, 2013 – France’s players have met up for the first time ahead of the third and final round of qualification matches for the 2014 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship.

France host a group that also features Belgium, Belarus and Spain at Halle Carpentier in Paris. Laurent Tillie’s team start against Belarus on January 3, play Spain on January 4 and then face Belgium on January 5, all starting at 17.00, local time.
After taking a break to spend Christmas with their families the players will reconvene for two friendly matches against the Netherlands on December 29 and 30.

“With the start of this camp we are entering the final stage of our preparations for the World Championship qualifier,” head coach Tillie said. “Our players are tired after going through a busy schedule in their respective national leagues and playing matches in the Champions League. 

“We will play three teams that have to be taken seriously. We still do not know which players Spain will nominate for the tournament but they may opt for some of their most experienced guys who won gold at the European Championship in 2007. The players from Belarus have got good technical skills and are physically strong too. As for the Belgians, they are the national team that has improved the most this year.”

The winners of the five third-round qualifiers together with the second-ranked team with the best score across all pools will join hosts Poland, 2013 European champions Russia and the silver medallists from this year’s EuroVolley Italy to compose the European contingent for the World Championship coming up in September 2014 in Poland. 

France squad:
Jenia Grebennikov, Gérald Hardy-Dessources, Franck Lafitte, Nicolas Le Goff, Kevin Le Roux, Julien Lyneel, Earvin Ngapeth, Rafael Redwitz, Nicolas Rossard, Antonin Rouzier, Mory Sidibé, Kévin Tillie, Benjamin Toniutti, and Samuele Tuia

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