Waiting for World League debut Slovakia prepares for home World Champs qualifier
Slovak Volleyball Federation President Lubor Halanda (right) together with the head coach of Slovakia men’s national team, Italian-born Flavio Gulinelli |
Bratislava, Slovakia, December 4, 2013 -
The President of the Slovak Volleyball Federation Lubor Halanda and the head
coach of the men’s national team, Flavio Gulinelli, are very pleased with the
fact that Slovakia will make their debut in next year’s FIVB World League.
Slovakia is a two-time winner of the CEV Volleyball European League (in 2008
and 2011) and recorded their best result at the European Champs back in 2011
finishing in fifth place as the competition was held in Austria and the Czech
“We are very happy that we will be playing the FIVB World League for the first
time. This is a very important moment for us and also a unique opportunity to
play some of the strongest teams in the world” says Halanda who last Saturday
was re-elected at the helm of the Slovak Volleyball Federation for another four
Italian-born head coach Flavio Gulinelli was also pleased with the news from
Lausanne: “It is a very important moment for us and I hope that our players
will be very motivated as we move up to the next level next year” he says.
Gulinelli already has previous experiences in the competition working with the
national teams of Italy, Brazil, and Portugal.
Slovakia was assigned to Pool G together with Puerto Rico, China, and Spain.
“Puerto Rico is just about renovating the composition of their team but they
are still very strong. China plays a totally different kind of Volleyball than
most European sides with a strong defence and as for Spain, we know them very
well and we also know that they can play at a very high level” adds Gulinelli
whose assistant will be a former member of the Slovak national team, setter
Marek Kardos, who currently mentors AZS CZESTOCHOWA in Poland’s first division.
Gulinelli will first work with the Slovak players to prepare for the third and
last qualification round for next year’s World Championship with Slovakia set
to play Ukraine, Greece, and Finland through January 3-5 in Poprad. “Slovakia
has been dreaming to make the World Championship for quite some time. We know
it is not going to be easy for we have to play strong opponents but we will do
our best” promises the 55-year old mentor who hails from the city of Asti. The
team will start their preparations on December 20 and play two friendly games
with the Czech Republic before the home qualifier in Poprad.