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Turkey coach hopes crowd support will boost team in World League Group 3 Finals

 
Turkish spectators celebrating the hosting of the Group Finals of the World League under the oldest tree in Turkey, which is 600 years old

Bursa, Turkey, June 27, 2014 - In their first participation at the FIVB World League, Turkey’s men's national volleyball team is seeking a new era in their history as they get set to take part in the Group 3 Finals in Bursa, Turkey on Saturday. 

Known more for their women's national team achievements at the international level over the last few years,  Turkish Volleyball is now seeking the same for their men’s team in the 2014 edition of the World League.

Although they are the last ranked team in the newly designated finals (No. 45), Turkey coach Emmanuelle Zanini is optimistic that his team will achieve good results in the Finals

"We are playing in the World League for the first time and we feel the importance of the competition here," he said.

"We deserve to qualify for the Finals not only as an organiser, but also through our results in the Intercontinental Round as we came second in Pool F. We are now looking forward to competing here among our spectators, and are now concentrating on the semifinal match against Slovakia and then we have to think of the Finals. We know that Cuba are the big favourites for the gold medal, but we will do our best to capture the first position here in Bursa."

The spectators were key to Turkey winning their first gold medal at the international level when they hosted the Girls’ U18 World Championship in Ankara in 2011 and now the men's team coach is calling for that same support.

"We have to do our best against the world level teams like Cuba to win this competition. We need to use the individual talents of our players in the team to work to serve our goals," said Zanini.  
 
Zanini was appointed head coach of Turkey in 2013 prior to which he led the Italian and Slovak national men’s teams and club teams in Italy, France and Slovakia. He guided Slovakia to unprecedented success over four seasons, starting in 2008. The team won that year’s European League title and repeated the feat in 2011. Under Zanini’s guidance Slovakia came fifth at the 2011 European Championship. As assistant coach to the Italian men, he won World League gold medals in 1999 and 2000, another gold at the 1999 European Championship and Olympic bronze at Sydney 2000.

Volleyball is a well-loved sport in Bursa, one of the biggest cities in Turkey. In last year’s season Bursa had one team participating in the men’s and women’s Acibadem Volleyball League. The 2014-2015 season will see two women’s teams taking part in the League. Volleyball fans have expressed their wish to see more of the sport and are looking forward to hosting the Group 3 Finals of the 2014 FIVB World League.

The matches will be played in Cengiz Göllü Volleyball Hall, which has seating capacity of 5,000 spectators. The competition will be held at the Bursa Cengiz Göllü Volleyball Hall, a first-class sporting venue, which bears the name of the former head coach of Turkey’s women’s national team. The hall opened one year ago and is now set to host one of the most prestigious events in international volleyball.

 



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