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15/09/2016 10:14
Hungary’s women want to feel #EuroVolley atmosphere again
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women

Budapest, Hungary, September 15, 2016. Hungary will be hosting this weekend at Érd Arena the first of two round robin tournaments on schedule for Pool C in what is the second round of qualifications for the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women. The hosts will be playing the national teams of Poland, Finland and Estonia for a spot in the Final Round – which goes to the eventual winners of a double round robin. The eventual runners-up will have one last shot at a ticket to the women’s EuroVolley in early October playing the second-place finishers in Pool E – which features the likes of Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania and Switzerland.

“We have had a very long and demanding preparation phase, because we have been training together since August 1,” said Edina Dobi, one of the outstanding players on the Hungarian national team while addressing the media on Wednesday. “We are motivated, because last year we played at the European Championship for the first time in 28 years and we want to feel that same atmosphere again.”

Dóra Horváth, another key member of the Hungarian national team, talked about the odds at stake. “It’s always easier to achieve something than to keep it and maintain the same standards. It would be a great success to qualify again for the European Championship, but this team has already shown, that we are capable of doing this. Obviously, our first goal is to win the group, but personally, it does not matter if we qualify via the second or third round.”

Jan De Brandt, the Belgian-born head coach of the Hungarian national team, did not want to answer straightforward when questioned if the team is prepared in the best way for the upcoming European qualifiers. “Yes and no. Yes, because we have been working together for one and a half month with most of the team members, and we have been working really hard. And no, because our three key players joined us only two weeks ago, and I think this timeframe is just not enough for them to be prepared in the best way.”

Jan De Brandt said that the Polish national team is the main rival for Hungary, but the remaining opponents should not be underestimated in any way. “After not qualifying for the Olympics, Poland have kind of changed their team and their roster is a lot younger now, so our chances against them have grown bigger. Last year, we beat them twice in Poland in the European League, where they played with a B-Team. Many of the players we faced back then are now on the first team – meanwhile they have certainly developed and it will be difficult to win against them.”

Zsolt Ludvig, the Secretary General of the Hungarian Volleyball Federation said, that the main goal is definitely to qualify for the Final Round of the European Championship. In addition to that, he announced additional important news: “After winning the 2015 edition of the European League, our national team was eligible to play in the FIVB World Grand Prix, but due to administrative reasons this did not happen in 2016. However, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić assured us that this would happen in 2017 and he kept his promise.”

Hungary will indeed make their FIVB World Grand Prix debut in 2017 contesting Group 3 as announced yesterday in Lausanne.

Click here for further information, including a detailed match programme

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