Volleyball’s prestigious World Championships will be played in Italy and Bulgaria this September and the Helloworld Travel Men Volleyroos will be ready.
More Aussie men than ever before are playing in top leagues around the world, experiencing the weekly high level volleyball that should have them primed and ready to come together as a national team and mix it up with the best in the world.
Currently ranked sixteenth on the international stage means Australia will need to have it’s best players available, fit and raring to go.
The question being asked is whether former captain and super star, Tom Edgar, a 212cm powerful opposite and a match winner will be in the side.
He is well known in the Volleyball world for his Herculean effort of scoring an FIVB record 50 points to give Australia a famous victory in a 2015 match against Egypt.
Edgar was unavailable in 2017 for national duty and since then his focus understandably has been on his new contract with JT Thunders in Hiroshima Japan.
However Volleyball Australia High Performance Director John Boultbee is hopeful Edgar will make himself available again for national selection in this very important international year.
“Tom is a great player we would like him to play but effectively its his choice at the moment.” said Boultbee.
Australia is a country that has been steadily on the rise internationally and the focus of having players and coaches in overseas leagues has been a big factor in that improvement.
“We have about 25 men playing in Europe (as well as 5 coaches) and a few in Asia and Africa. Its the week in week out Volleyball that makes you an international Volleyballer and of course that all adds to our depth.” said Boultbee.
The first round draw was announced this week and Australia faces one almighty challenge. Pool C includes Volleyball super powers Russia and the USA and you guessed it Australia will play both first up.
“USA and Russia are amongst the perennial best teams in the world but we also have Serbia in our pool who are very good, although we have beaten them in the past. The others in our pool are Tunisia and Cameroon both ranked lower than Australia, and we need to be in the top four of our pool to progress to the next round so it will be interesting” said Boultbee.
The World Championships are held every four years and all 24 nations will be out to win it.
This year Australia will get a perfect lead in when they face off against fifteen of the Worlds best countries in the all new Volleyball Nations League in June.
“What better warm up could there for the world championships than playing fifteen games against fifteen of the best nations in the Volleyball Nations League over five gruelling weeks?” said Boultbee.
Never before will Australia have been better prepared going into a world championships.
“In terms of games under the belt as individuals and as a team we will be in good stead by the time September comes around for the World Championships.” said Boultbee.
Some of the Volleyroos have been having excellent seasons in Europe already. Jacob Guymer’s VaLePa team won the Suomen Cup (Finnish Cup) for the second year last week, beating Hurrikani Loimaa in the final, the team where Max Staples and Tom Douglas-Powell are playing, whilst in Italy, Aidan Zingel’s Trentino Volley team have been on a run of 9 victories in the Italian League over the past weeks.
Another of Australia’s brightest talents Nehemiah Mote (Nemo) is returning from injury at just the right time.
“Nemo is a really talented middle blocker, a great asset when he’s fit, he had bad knee injury in 2016 and other issues but he’s back now and thats great for us. Nemo has picked up a mid season contract in Switzerland so we are looking forward to seeing him progress in that club and be ready for the Volleyroos training camp in Poland in May.” said Boultbee.