Team Portugal to rely on mix of youth and experience in European Silver League


Article Thu, May 9 2024

Training sessions for the Portuguese women’s national team coached by Hugo Silva began this week in the city of Santo Tirso, in preparation for their participation in the CEV European Silver League 2024. The competition for Team Portugal is due to commence on May 16 in the Finnish city of Tampere.

The Portuguese head coach emphasised the injection of new blood into the team, with players coming from the U20 and U22 national teams already qualified for their respective European championships coming up later this year. He highlighted the “challenge of solidifying a young team capable of competing in various tournaments over an extended period, aiming to elevate them to higher-level competitions.” The coach expressed “confidence in the team’s potential for success, fuelled by the enthusiasm surrounding the young players and the dedication of all involved.” 

Regarding the opponents, Silva focused on his team’s development but acknowledged he awaits tough matches especially against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, both formidable rivals. He stressed the team’s commitment to striving for top positions, while acknowledging “the patience required for the team’s growth.”

The roster chosen by Silva includes:

Setters: Ana Figueiras (Leixões SC), Mariana Garcez (SL Benfica)
Liberos: Joana Resende (FC Porto), Matilde Calado Rodrigues (PV/Col. Efanor)
Opposite hitters: Júlia Kavalenka (CDA Volley Talmassons/ITA), Maria Reis Lopes (FC Porto)
Outside Hitters: Ana Rui Monteiro (FC Porto), Alice Clemente (SL Benfica), Margarida Maia (Vitória SC), Marisa Pardal (SL Benfica)
Middle Blockers: Amanda Cavalcanti (Sporting CP), Joana Garcez (SL Benfica), Kátia Oliveira (Clube K), Raissa Cassamá (Vitória SC)

Team Portugal will be making their debut at Tournament 2 in Tampere facing Luxembourg (May 17) and hosts Finland (May 18). Santo Tirso will host Tournament 6 from May 24 to 26. 

Silva praised the new format, anticipating a more competitive and demanding league with teams previously featuring in the Golden League. He emphasised the team’s commitment to “elevating their performance and representing their country with pride.”

Portugal's head coach Hugo Silva acknowledges it will take some time for his young group to play to their full potential

The competition holds additional significance as teams prepare for the CEV EuroVolley 2026 qualifiers, which will begin at the end of the summer of 2024. 

Iceland will make their historic debut in the European Silver League with both their men’s and women’s national teams. 

In 2023, Portugal beat Montenegro and finished the European Silver League in third place at the end of the Final Four contested in the Austrian city of Graz. Estonia were the winners of the competition. A year earlier, Portugal lost the final to Sweden after finishing in fourth place back in 2021.