The talk is over! The time has come for the helloworld travel mens Volleyroos to let their actions do their talking as the all new Volleyball Nations League (VNL) gets underway in France this weekend.
Australia (ranked 16th) takes on Japan (ranked 12th), Iran (ranked 8th) and hosts France (ranked 9th) first up to kick off a gruelling five weeks that
sees them play all 15 of the top volleyball countries in the world in this sixteen nation tournament across five countries and four continents including
Australia June 22 - 24 hosting Poland, Brazil, and Argentina.
There is no denying the Aussies go into this exciting new format as underdogs but if their preliminary match wins against Germany and Italy, are anything
to go by, then hang on to your seats because this group of men in the green and gold are ready to do something special for their country.
“They (the warm up matches) were really important for us to play against top quality teams. Germans and Italians are perennial top teams in the world and medalists at big events and we were able to match them and win matches against them, it gave us a lot of confidence that when we play the way we want we can play with everybody and this weekend will be the proof in the pudding.”
The helloworld travel Volleyroos have formed a special connection that their coach believes can see them do extraordinary things.
“This is a great group of guys, the team unity, the bond that the players have with each other and their willingness to sacrifice for each other in the name of the team is exciting." said Coach Mark Lebedew.
"We saw that in the preparation games V Germany and Italy, we saw that last year in competition and I expect we will see that with this group of guys again this weekend.”
The first match of the weekend for the helloworld travel Volleyroos is a match they can and should win against Japan.
“It’s great for us to start against Japan a team we know really well we played against them five times last year and beat them once and played a couple of great five set matches in Australia. I expect we will be able to at least match that performance. Im really positive that we can kick off with a win.” said Lebedew.
“Iran is also a team from the Asian zone that we are familiar with, its a tough team they have some changes from previous years so that will be a really interesting one for us.”
The final match of the helloworld travel Volleyroos opening weekend will be their toughest against hosts France.
“The match against the hosts is always a big match. France is the old World League Champions which this event (VNL) has replaced so in a sense France is the reigning champions and a team with some big world stars our guys are already a bit excited for that game to see how we match up.” says Lebedew.
Coach Lebedew says the challenge this weekend is huge for the helloworld travel Volleyroos but he’s confident his team is not here to make up the numbers and should not be underestimated.
“In the first week if we come out with a really strong focus anythings possible.”
All matches can be seen in Australia on Fox Sports this weekend.
Saturday May 26 @ 4pm Australia v Japan (Fox Sports CH 505)
Sunday May 27 @ 4pm Australia v Iran (Fox Sports CH 501)
Monday May 28 @ 11am Australia v France (Fox Sports CH503)
|HELLOWORLD TRAVEL VOLLEYROOS SQUAD FOR OPENING VNL OPENING WEEKEND|
|16||Thomas Ewen Douglas-Powell|
|18||Lincoln Alexander Williams|