Coaches applaud U23 World Championship concept
Tijuana and Mexicali, México, October 4, 2013 – All the coaches of the teams taking part in the inaugural FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship agree on the importance and necessity of this new age-group in the development process of the players.
They expressed their feelings and goals in the championship while participating in the preliminary inquiries performed by the FIVB Control Committee on Thursday.
The FIVB Volleyball U23 World Championships in both genders were created to provide another opportunity for age-group players to participate in an international tournament with the goal of reducing the gap between them and players of the senior level.
Twelve teams, representing the five confederations under the umbrella of FIVB, have been divided into two pools of six sides with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the medal round. Teams placed in third and fourth will play for the 5-8 positions.
The teams competing in Pool A in Tijuana are Italy, Turkey, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Japan and hosts Mexico. The Pool A in Mexicali consists of United States, Kenya, China, Germany, Brazil and Cuba.
Here the excerpts of the Coaches statements:
Guillermo Caceres, Coach of Argentina: “We want to thank the organizers for a great hospitality. Our expectations are to continue getting experience and to learn from the powerhouses taking part in the competition. We hope to learn and to give a good battle to every team.”
Claudio Lopes, Coach of Brazil: “The first U23 World Championship will have a very, very high level and we are prepared to face some very good teams. We are very happy with this new category which is a step between the junior ranks and the senior level. It is very tough to adjust going from the juniors to play with accomplished players.”
Xu Jiande, Coach of China: “We will try our best to learn from each other and also to try to get the best result possible. It is a new tournament and the organization is very good.”
Juan Carlos Gala, Coach of Cuba: “We have a very young team with the oldest player being 21. Our pool is very tough but our goal is to be among the top eight. The U23 championship is a great idea and we fully support it, because it is the intermediate phase between the junior and the senior level. There will be a mix of established athletes with promising ones.”
Marcos Kwiek, Coach of Dominican Republic: “We have had so many good memories from our past tournaments here. This is like our second home because it has been part of our history. I hope our players enjoy the tournament and can play at a good level.”
Jens Thietbol, Coach of Germany: “We are going to play in Mexicali in a very tough pool with teams like Brazil, USA, China and Cuba, traditional very good teams. I hope we can advance to the final round in Tijuana. The U23 is a new championship and I think it is very good chance for the players to prepare to move to the women’s national team.
Luca Cristofani, Coach of Italy: “Our goal is to be in the final-four and I wish the best of luck to all the participants. The U23 Championship is like the missing piece in the structure to develop the players. With this new age-group competition you don’t have to rush the players into the senior teams.”
Shigekazu Okubo, Coach of Japan: “Our players are very short so we have to rely on defense, reception and digs to go with a fast offense. The competition is a good one because it helps the development of athletes going from the junior to the senior level. It also helps the process to replace the players that are getting old.”
Sammy Mulinge, Coach of Kenya: “We have a good team but we lack the experience. Most of our players only have competed at a continental level in Africa. Very few players have played at an intercontinental level. We have only two players who have been in the national team. This new U23 championship is good for them to gain experience and prepare for the senior team.”
Francisco Pineda, Coach of Mexico: “Our team comes with a positive mentality to have a good event. From the team that played at the NORCECA championship we have eight players here. In our roster we have several players who took part in the U18 and U20 world championships and also new players, including Karina Flores, a 15-years old player of 1.94 meters.”
Mehmet Bedestenlioglu, Coach of Turkey: “We are a good team and hope to be successful in this tournament. Our junior and youth teams have had success in Europe so we have a big group of good players to select from. Regarding this new age-group I think it is good for the top teams in the world that have many players of advanced age still active and need that the young players can compete.”
Karch Kiraly, Coach of United States: “We are excited. We have a very young team, and we are excited and it’s special to be part of the first ever World Championship for U23. We have a number of players who have finished with their college eligibility here on the team and also some players who are younger than college and have never played yet. So we’ve got a good mix, a good blend of more experienced and some youth.”