Asking Paul Carroll which of his five national German championships has been his favourite is like asking parents to name their favourite child.
But Carroll is pretty certain Sunday’s win with the BR Volleys is right up there. Part of the reason is he got to share this title with fellow Australian, Luke Perry.
It also felt pretty good knocking off VF Friedrichshafen.
“This may be the sweetest championship because this year we beat every single team we played expect Friedrichshafen until the last two finals matches,” Carroll said.
“The only time we lost at home, including in the Champions League, was against Friedrichshafen. They were starting to get cocky too.
“After they beat us in the first finals game they celebrated like they had already won the championship. It made it even sweeter to wipe their smiles from their faces when we took the championship on their home court.”
While Carroll was pumped, Perry, or ‘Pez’ as he’s known to both his Australian and Berlin teammates, had special reason to celebrate. Friedrichshafen was his club last year.
“Pez wanted to win more than anyone because we were playing against his ex club and it was killing him that they had our number all year,” Carroll said.
“He was absolutely elated when we won.”
Sunday’s was the eight national title for BR Volleys. Carroll has been with the club since 2011, helping them to five crowns in those six years.
It’s no coincidence the only year they didn’t win the title was the season Carroll injured his knee and missed the final two matches of the season.
It’s been a big fortnight for Carroll, Perry and BR Volleys. Last week they made the final four of the prestigious European Champions League, a momentous achievement for a club from Germany.
They eventually finished fourth.
“Qualifying for Champions League final four was the most impressive thing this club has ever done,” Carroll said.
“To qualify we beat the best teams from Italy, Poland, Turkey and Russia. To clinch it we beat Moscow twice in five sets. Their budget towers above ours, and they have multiple Olympic gold medalists on their roster.”
The next task for Perry and Carroll will be to team up with their Volleyroo teammates for what is going to be a big international year.
Australia is back in Group Two of the World League, and will host the semi-finals on the Gold Coast on June 24/25.
The Volleyroos will then host the Asian Men’s Volleyball World Championship qualifiers in Canberra in July.
And Carroll is set to play a major leadership role with the team this year.
“I'm excited to get back with the national team,” Carroll said.
“It's a different feeling playing for your country. I’m looking forward to continuing to be a leader in the team.
“There will be a few new faces and I'm looking forward to see guys embrace the opportunity to play for Australia.”