Updates: 14.09.2021 09:55
Ostrava – The Czech volleyball players have driven fans crazy with their performances and, with the help of the audience, they want to reach the semifinals of the European Championships in Ostrava, just like twenty years ago. On Wednesday from 19:00, they will compete with Slovenia for the second time in the tournament and in the quarterfinals they will try to repeat the victory from the opening match in the group against the silver defenders.
“It’s a chance that doesn’t have to be repeated for a long time,” national team coach Jiří Novák told reporters and he knows very well what he is talking about. The last time volleyball players played for medals was at the European Championships in Ostrava, and Novák belonged to the basic line-up in 2001.
This time he is the coach of the national team and under his leadership the Czechs at the European Championships surprise the favorites. Slovenia beat the start of the tournament 3: 1 and in Monday’s round of 16 they shocked with a three-hundredth victory over the French, the Olympic winners from Tokyo. “I am happy for the players. I chose them, I trust them, I try to prepare them with my form of work and let them lick their success, because they are on the field,” said Novák.
Volleyball players will face the Slovenians under more pressure than in the first duel, when they were outsiders. “Slovenians are still favorites and that’s how we have to tell the boys clearly,” Novák remarked. From the players, he wants to get performance to the limit again; they perform it at a time when they are not expected to win so much. “We have to fly at them and fight again,” the coach reminded that in addition to the game qualities, the great advantage of his choice is enthusiasm and combativeness.
But the first match with the Slovenes can be a guide for volleyball players to further success. “Once we have beaten them, we will repeat it,” said the recorder Luboš Bartůněk. “It will be a difficult match and we have to give the performance that we showed against France. We have to come to the conclusion that they are still favorites and we have to fight,” said smashman Adam Bartoš.
The Czechs will enter the match encouraged by the victory over France. But they must not fly their heads in the clouds. “We will work hard on the players to forget and prepare. We all know very well what happened after the first victory over Slovenia, and this must not be repeated in any case,” Novák reminded him that his team did not manage the duel with Belarus, which he had to beat.
Novák manages to mix the line-up in the tournament. For example, even in the quarterfinals, he will be able to pull out a joker, just as Adam Zajíček was surprised, trained in the jumping service against the Slovenes. From the role of number two, Bartůněk became number one on the recording, which, as expected, kicked off the universal Jan Hadrava, and dazzles the fearlessness of the young man Josef Polák on the block. The last move came with Bartoš, who got a better chance against France and shone.
“From the beginning, I beat the boys that you don’t know the hours of the tournament on the day, and I’m counting on everyone. It’s clearly defined that the fourteen boys are here together and win as a team and lose as a team. but it has the same weight when someone puts a balloon as when another sets it up. Everyone has to deserve success, “said Novák.
A great atmosphere is expected again. Especially when this is the last chance for Czech fans to support the national team at home. Medal fights will take place in Katowice.
Source: České noviny – sport by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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