Slovakia to make the most of World League experience
Kosice, Slovakia, April 20, 2014 – This year’s edition of the FIVB World League will be one of many firsts for Slovakia. As the men’s national team gets set to take part in the tournament for the first time ever, Slovakia’s eastern city of Kosice is also gearing up to host the League’s Pool G matches in the city’s Steel Arena.
"We are proud to be a part of the FIVB World League. We take this competition very seriously and because of that we decided to organise a tournament in the Steel Arena, which is considered to be one of the best sports halls in our country. We are working very hard to organise this event at a high level and we hope that fans will enjoy the volleyball and will also have a lot of fun," said Lubor Halanda, President of the Slovakia Volleyball Federation.
The Steel Arena holds many good memories for the Slovakia team as this where they won their second CEV European League title in 2011. "We always very glad to come back to places where we have been successful and Steel Arena is one of those places. We have big support from the city of Kosice and also from the management of Steel Arena," added Halanda.
Igor Havrila, the general manager of the Steel Arena is looking forward to once again welcome an international volleyball tournament. "It is a big honor for us to host the Slovakian team during their premiere appearance in the FIVB World League. I am very glad that Slovak Volleyball Federation decided to play the tournament here and we will do our best to prepare everything very well. We are looking forward to welcome this fantastic tournament and we are happy that fans can see teams like Spain, China and Puerto Rico in our city."
The Slovakia team will start their training camp on April 28 in the city of Puchov with Italian born coach Flavio Gulinelli in the process of finalising the team roster for this season. The team will first compete in the CEV European Championships Qualification before heading into the World League tournament.
Slovakia will make their World League debut in Pool G and will play against Puerto Rico (returning after making their only appearance in 2011), China and Spain (returning after their last appearing in 2010 and 2008). respectively while Slovakia will make their World League debut.
The excitement and action of the World League is set to get more intense this year as the 25th edition of the FIVB World League sees the competition increase from 18 to 28 teams split into seven pools of four teams each.
It is the first time the FIVB’s premiere event will feature such a large number of teams having had 16 teams from 2001-2003 and 2006-2012. The World League featured eight teams in its inaugural year in 1990, 10 in 1991, 12 from 1992-2000 and 2004-05 and then 18 in the 2013 edition.