As the mens Helloworld Travel Volleyroos prepare to take on world number one Brazil at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena tonight there’s a “no-fear” factor and a rare tight bond that has this group of Volleyroos believing they can do something special.
Harrison Peacock, at 27 years of age has been a Volleyroo since 2011 and has played in his fair share of great teams, including professionally across Europe in Italy, Poland and Finland mixing with the best players in the world but he has declared this current group of Volleyroos as simply the best.
“This is the most enjoyable team I’ve played in ever! We all get along really well. Theres a lot of energy on the court and off the court. We are really loving playing together” said Peacock.
It's that team energy that has been entertaining crowds around the world over the last five weeks of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) and Peacock says they cant wait to bring it to the Aussie fans in Melbourne tonight and all weekend.
“We think our bench and our team has a really good energy and atmosphere when we play and we hope we can really get the crowd involved. Everyone who comes out will really enjoy it should be a good time.” said Peacock.
Brazil are entitled to be hot favourites tonight, they aren’t world number one for nothing and winners of numerous world championships as well as dual Olympic Gold Medallists, but don't write the Aussies off, they’ve been on a roll lately bagging some big scalps including a win over world number four and Rio Siiver medallists, Italy last weekend.
“We’ve got our plan but it all depends on how we execute that plan tonight. Obviously we have been thinking about the opposition, we have our tactics against them, but mostly we will be focused on what happens on our side of the court.” Said Peacock
Australia in fact are in the hottest form of all four teams coming into this final weekend of VNL in Melbourne. The Volleyroos are on a four match winning streak, Brazil lost all their three matches last weekend and so to do did Poland and Argentina, but of course that only makes them all more dangerous.
Brazil are still in fourth place on the VNL table, Poland are just behind them in fifth, both teams must get wins against Australian this weekend to ensure they can make the final six to be hosted by top of the table France in a fortnight.
Australia (11th) still has a mathematical chance of making the final six but they will need to win all three games this weekend and hope other results go their way while Argentina are out of contention in 14th place.
Volleryoos coach Mark Lebedew his men are ready for the massive challenge that awaits tonight.
“We feel good, we feel confident Brazil is a top team obviously they are favourites but we dont back down from anybody and we are going to have a really good game tonight.” Said Lebedew.
“We’ve shown over the last few weeks it really doesn’t matter which group of seven guys we put out there we are ready to fight for each other, to push for the team, push for the fans, make a great show and that’s what we can expect tonight as well.”
Poland will play Argentina first up tonight at 6.30pm followed by Australia and Brazil at 9pm at Hisense Arena. Matches will be shown live on Fox Sports.
All match information, scores, stats and much more can be found here. http://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl