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Canada confident ahead of World League opener

Glenn Hoag being interviewed after Canada's practice on Thursday

Quebec, Canada, May 31, 2013 – Canadian middle blocker Justin Duff says his team can progress through the World League Intercontinental Round unbeaten on the eve of the start of the FIVB’s premier annual men’s competition on Friday, with Canada hosting the Netherlands at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec city in their Pool C clash at 23:00 (GMT).

“We have the ability to win our robin pool matches every weekend,” Duff, who recently returned from Russia where he helped his pro team to the league title, said. “We are looking forward to showing the Canadian fans the level we are at.  We are well prepared to start this tournament and we are going to get better as it progresses. ”

Canada, ranked 18th in the world, returned to the World League last year and placed 12th and coach Glenn Hoag is confident his troops are ready. “Our preparations are going very well and we are anxious for this tournament to start,” said Hoag, who also won a pro title this season in Turkey on a team that included Canadian national team players Gord Perrin and Adam Simac. “The Dutch are going to be a tough opponent like all European teams.  They have a lot of talent and have a nice blend of youth and experience. They are tall and we expect them to play a physical game.”

The Netherlands meanwhile are in a rebuilding phase and step one has been accomplished by returning to the World League this season for the first time since 2010.

“This is the level we have to be at now, we have to be present at these special events,” said Netherlands coach Edwin Benne. “It’s been very hard work to come back but we feel we have a great group of guys who want to accomplish our goals together.”

Last year Poland won its first World League crown defeating USA in the final with Cuba finishing third.


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