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24/05/2019 16:50
16 up-and-coming teams all equally poised to contest Silver #EuroLeague
CEV Volleyball European Silver League 2019

Luxembourg, May 24, 2019. The 2019 edition of the CEV European Silver League will get underway on Saturday and Sunday. The competition features eight teams per gender divided into two pools – with the eventual group leaders contesting home and away finals, whose eventual winners will secure a spot in the 2020 edition of the European Golden League. Volleyball fans from across the globe can follow all of the matches on the CEV’s very own OTT platform EuroVolleyTV.



MEN

Pool A

Austria vs. Greece


•    The men’s national team of Austria start their European Silver League campaign on home soil. Coach Michael Warm’s squad face Greece at Olympiahalle Innsbruck on Sunday.
•    Austria’s stars Alexander Berger - who has just become a father for a second time - and Paul Buchegger will make their comebacks to the national team after breaks due to injury.
•    Both teams will participate in the CEV EuroVolley 2019 in September. Austria made it to the Final Round of the European Championship for the first time through qualification after co-hosting the event in 2011 together with Czech Republic.
•    Team Austria started their preparations more than three weeks ago at Landessportzentrum VIVA in Steinbrunn and played two friendly matches with Croatia.

Michael Warm, coach of Austria: “Greece is a tough opponent. I hope for the support from our fans. I expect an interesting and hard match. The home crowd will be crucial and can make the difference!”

Gottfried Rath, Austrian Volleyball Federation (ÖVV) Sports Director: “We hope to see top-level Volleyball on Sunday and that our national team can start the European Silver League campaign with a victory over Greece.”

Hungary vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina


•    Last time these two teams locked horns, Hungary secured a comprehensive 3-0 victory in a EuroVolley qualifying match played in 2014.
•    From that roster, Alpár Szabó and Bálint Magyar still play for the Hungarian team.
•    The refreshed young Hungarian team’s goal is to learn as much as they can before the qualifiers for the 2021 edition of EuroVolley due to take place in 2020.

Roland Gergye, player of Team Hungary: “We would like to qualify for the Finals, but it will not be easy with this young team. This campaign is more about learning in order to reach our top form during the next EuroVolley qualifiers.”



Pool B

Denmark vs. Georgia

•    Denmark play Georgia at their home court in Slagelse, which last time gathered over 2,000 spectators for a EuroVolley qualifier.
•    The two nations have not played each other since 2011, when Denmark won two times 3-0 on home court.

Kristian Knudsen, head coach of Denmark: “We are looking forward to entering the European Silver League tournament with a strong team of some more experienced and some younger players, which gives us a great depth throughout the tournament.  We are truly motivated to win the first game against Georgia, especially because we play on our new home court with a large Danish crowd supporting us.”

Azerbaijan vs. Romania

•    The men’s national team of Azerbaijan start their journey in Pool B with a home match against Romania.

Farid Jalalov, head coach of Azerbaijan: “While preparing for the European Silver League, we played a number of friendly matches with Georgia. All our players had an opportunity to show their quality even though some joined our training camp for the last 10-15 days only. We will play this match with our second setter Tural Hasanli. Aleksey Chervyakov had knee surgery and because of that, he will be able to help the team only during the next matches. I would not like to talk pre-match. I just can say we will do everything to show a good game to our supporters.”

Vugar Bayramov, player of Azerbaijan: “We started training for the European Silver League after finishing the national Superleague. We had friendly matches with Georgia. We will play our first match at home and this goes to our advantage. As usual, we will play for victory. I believe that we are going to have interesting and hard matches.”

Laurentiu Lica, captain of Romania: “Our main goal this season is to achieve a good result at EuroVolley 2019 and to qualify for the European Silver League Final.”

WOMEN

Pool A

Cyprus vs. Israel   


•    It is a truly historic match for Team Cyprus who make their debut in the European League to measure their strengths in order to reap experience. Participation is due to the efforts of the Federation in recent years that have raised the sport of Volleyball and the successes of the national team.
•    The hosts expect many fans to come out and support the home team at the University of Cyprus Athletic Centre in Nicosia.

Ioannis Nikolakis, head coach of Cyprus: “The Silver League is an event where Cyprus participates for the first time in its history which is a landmark, since it is a high standard organisation. Our participation in the Silver League became possible due to the very good results of the national team and the efforts of the Federation.”

Romania vs. Georgia


•    While their compatriots start their journey in the men’s competition with an away match against Azerbaijan, Romania’s women host Georgia at the Sala Polivalenta in the city of Alexandria.

Alexandra Romela Trica, player of Romania: “The match against Georgia will be the first step of our journey in the Silver European League.”



Pool B

Portugal vs. Greece


•    The last time Portugal and Greece played each other came with the EuroVolley 2015 qualifiers held in Bulgaria and Azerbaijan, where these two teams split wins – recording one apiece in their two clashes.
•    The match takes place in Portimão, the 2019 European City of Sport.
•    Greece are no. 28 and 46 in the CEV and FIVB Ranking, while Portugal sit in 22nd and 52nd place, respectively.
•    In 2018, Portugal played the Golden European League, finishing last, while Greece did not participate in the competition at all.
•    Both teams have qualified for EuroVolley 2019: Portugal will play the pool phase in Lodz (Poland) and Greece in Ankara (Turkey).
•    Brazilian Jose Francisco dos Santos will be making his debut as head coach of the Portuguese women’s national team after previous stints at the helm of the men’s team in 2006 and 2016.

Joana Resende, libero of Portugal: “It will be our first competitive match and we hope to execute and implement the work done in these weeks of training. We want to start the competition with a win, so we hope to achieve, with the strength of the group and a fighting spirit, a good performance and a good result.”

Slovenia vs. Estonia


•    Slovenia look forward to their first CEV European Silver League clash of the season.
•    Their first opponent will be Estonia and Alessandro Chiappini’s team is determined to begin their European journey with a win.

“We did not have much time to prepare for the first matches, as some girls joined the team at the beginning of this week, but I am still confident we will show a good performance in front of our fans on Saturday. We are all looking forward to this match,” Slovenia’s middle blocker Saša Planinšec said after one of the last training sessions in sports hall Lukna.

“We faced Estonia two years ago in the 2018 FIVB World Championship qualifiers. We were the better team at that time, but we are aware Estonia is a strong opponent and that we will have to play at a high level to secure ourselves an important win,” head coach Alessandro Chiappini added. 

Click here for further information.

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Slovenia set sights on European League final and causing a surprise at EuroVolley

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