Federbrau ready to pit wits against world's best
Besides picking up the Asian Women's Club Championship for the second year running, Federbrau were also successful at the Princess Cup at home in Thailand|
Bangkok, Thailand, November 25, 2010 – Despite winning the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship on the last two occasions, Thailand’s Federbrau face a daunting task when they arrive in Doha, Qatar for the 2010 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, set to run from December 15-21.
The club has been playing together under the same banner for many years but has only recently burst into prominence following their maiden victory at the 10th Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand in 2009 after a rousing 3-2 win over China’s Tianjin Bridgestone in the final. Powerful Onuma Sittirak was selected the Most Valuable Player at the tournament, while three more individual awards including Best Server (Nootsara Tomkom) and Best Spiker (Onuma Sittirak) were also won by Federbrau.
The same year saw Federbrau perform superbly to win two other major titles, including their debut success in the biennial Princess Cup Women’s Volleyball Invitation.
Fielding dominant forces, including Wilavan Apinyapong, Pluemjit Thinkaow and Amphon Hyapha, the side again proved their talents by successfully defending their Asian Women’s Club Championship title earlier this year in Gresik, Surabaya in Indonesia, methodically brushing off Kazakhstan’s Zhetyssu Almaty in an action-packed four-set battle in the final. They also won three individual awards including Best Scorer and Best Spiker for Onuma Sittirak and the MVP award for setter Nootsara Tomkom.
The scintillating win has earned Thailand’s Federbrau the right to represent Asia against five other teams at the resurrected FIVB Women’s Volleyball Club World Championship.
Though the Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai’s girls made the cut for the top-flight competition, he is well aware that the other five teams are all formidable rivals to be reckoned with and concedes that it will not be an easy ride for Federbrau.
“All teams that qualified for the championship are very strong,” Kiattipong commented. “They represent each continent despite the fact that they are from a club team. Undoubtedly, they have played together for years. Each participating team is star-studded, with highly-experienced players from different powerhouse countries joining them.
“Federbrau is represented by all Thai national players who have been competing together for many years under the same banner,” he added. “We don’t have any strong foreign players in our team while the other sides are full of powerful hitters, taller blockers and skilful players. As they all have more individual talents, we are underdogs compared with them. However, we are ready to test our mettle against those rivals with all what we have. Since we have never played each team before, I think it’s very hard to set a real goal in this championship. We just want to do our best and try to win one match at a time. Though Federbrau are not big team, we are very determined to play tough with every team no matter what the final result will be,” he concluded.
This sentiment is echoed by captain Wilavan Apinyapong, who is also optimistic about the FIVB Women’s Volleyball Club World Championship.
“As far as I know, every team is very strong, especially Sollys Osasco from Brazil and Italy’s Bergamo,” she commented. “Our initial expectation is, therefore, to finish in the top two at the end of the pool round-robin preliminaries so that we can revive our fortunes in the semi-finals against much stronger opponents. We are ready to go with our best effort and don’t care much about the results.”