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10/09/2013 16:00
Getting to know: Alexandre Ferreira
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Trento, Italy, September 10, 2013. As the roster has undergone some major changes this past summer with many top players moving to Turkey (Kaziyski, Juantorena, Djuric, and Raphael) or Russia (Stokr), Italy’s champions Diatec TRENTINO have opted for a few young players to re-start their quest for some more glory after winning the CEV Volleyball Champions League for three years in a row and four consecutive titles at the FIVB Club World Championships. Among those who are set to carry on their shoulders that legacy there is also a 22-year old promising wing-spiker from Portugal, Alexandre Ferreira.
Alex, as he is nicknamed, will be spending his second season in Italy after playing last year for the likes of BCC-NEP Castellana Grotte. Ferreira was contacted by quite many clubs but eventually decided to go for Trento “for I wanted to play Volleyball at the highest level and only this team was going to help me fulfil this wish. My priority is to continue my development as professional player and here I have found the right environment where I will be able to achieve the goals I have set” he says. “I want to improve and help TRENTINO keep a spot among the strongest Volleyball teams in Italy and in Europe as well. I do not know if this means that we will continue the impressive winning streak from the past or we will have to settle for second or third places. My only and sole goal is to play my best in every single match that we will contest this year” he adds.  

Together with Filippo Lanza – who is set to compete later this month with Italy’s national team at the VELUX EuroVolley in Denmark and Poland – Ferreira will carry on his shoulders a huge responsibility for these young guys will follow in the footsteps of two of the world’s best outside spikers, Matey Kaziyski and Osmany Juantorena. “Of course we know that it is very difficult to stand this challenge and we know that the expectations when it comes to TRENTINO are always high. However, after coming here, I have been working hard for the past three and a half weeks to show that I am ready to embark on this adventure and that I deserve to play for this glorious team. My current head coach Roberto Serniotti is very helpful; he is following me very closely, and supporting me with his advice. By this time of the year we are working especially on our conditioning and doing a lot of drills to improve on all fundamentals. The team work will follow in the coming weeks as soon as the other players will come back from their national teams” Ferreira continues.  

Alex got into Volleyball because his older brother was playing: “I started out playing soccer and continued up to the age of 15. I played as a midfielder for some teams from that same neighbourhood where I was born. After that I decided to try out Volleyball mainly because my brother Marco Evan was already playing at a good level and a member of the national teams. Since he was very happy with this sport and I did realize he was being rewarded for his efforts, I decided to follow in his footsteps and I absolutely have no regrets. I have found a sport where I feel at ease because it suits to my body as well as to my soul. I am very happy that I eventually followed his example and last year we even shared my first season abroad as we both played for Castellana Grotte in Italy’s first division” Alex recalls.    

Though Volleyball sounds like a family thing for Alex, next to his brother, he’s got another role model to look at: “Joao José is my inspiration. He captained the Portuguese national team for quite many years and he also turned into the first player from my country to win the CEV Volleyball Champions League as he did so back in 2007 while playing for Germany’s VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN. Apart from this, he’s also a role model for the professionalism and dedication he always shows to Volleyball, even in every single training session”.  

Alex is a regular member of Portugal’s national team that this year got the right to participate in the FIVB World League after Egypt’s withdrawal but that has missed out on a spot to compete at the upcoming EuroVolley in Denmark and Poland. “Our national team was totally restructured this year with the addition of many young players and we also started working with a new coach. Even though there are a few young players who have showed good skills, of course we won’t be able to compete with Europe’s Volleyball heavyweights for only 3 or 4 in the group have got what it takes to stand the quality of the top teams. However, you can see a steady development and growth and even though our campaign in the World League was not that successful, we still could realize where we stand and got the opportunity to play many high-quality matches. Of course I have some regrets for not making the EuroVolley but we eventually missed out on that spot for a minimum difference cause we won only one set less than Turkey and Belarus, our opponents in the second round” Alex says.  

What about his debut in the CEV Volleyball Champions League, Europe’s elite competition? “This is a dream that comes true for so far I never had the opportunity to join it” says the 2012 Portuguese champion. “I am extremely motivated for this is a great chance for me to see where I stand as we play some of the strongest sides in the world. I will be wearing the jersey of a team that has won that world-class competition for three times and so the people around me know very well what to expect and what to do”. Alex will be now counting the days waiting for late October to come as TRENTINO will play Germany’s BERLIN Recycling Volleys for the first round of action in prelim Pool D.

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