One of the biggest names in Australian men’s indoor volleyball is back training with the Volleyroos ahead of the Asian Championships in Iran
At 212 centimetres tall, Tom Edgar is a sight to behold for Australian Volleyball. His presence on the training court on the Gold Coast this week in the lead up to the Asian Championships in Iran is a welcome sight.
The last time he trained and played with the Volleyroos was during the heartbreaking campaign in the lead up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio when Australia just missed out on qualifying. The team finishing 13th when only the top 12 made it through.
Tom recalls, “2016 was all within our grasp. But you can’t look back and be disappointed. It’s gone now, and it was a great learning experience for me as I was trying to play in a tournament injured.” Tom battled a ruptured abdominal muscle during the qualifying tournament but decided to play despite the injury.
Post the tournament, he spent three and a half months in rehab.
The Volleyroos are preparing for a tough road to qualify for next year’s Olympics and Tom is keen to be a part of it; “It’s a bit different, obviously. I haven’t been around the team since 2016, so there are a few new faces. It’s good to be back and involved.”
Australia missed out on automatically making it through to the 2020 Olympics after falling just short in the series in Italy. The Volleyroos need to finish in the top eight at the Asian titles to secure a second chance in January.
The return of Tom after such a long period away from the national team is a major boost to the Australian team.
Tom has plied his trade in Japan for the past two years and has emerged as one of the best players in the league in his position as an opposite, and an attacker.
The workload for a professional volleyball player can be overwhelming with little time between club and international games across 12 months of the year. Tom says after the 2016 qualifying tournament something had to give; “It was mainly about a reset for me because over that period of time it was a very intense four years between London and Rio. There wasn’t much time for anything else. Volleyball was life and after suffering a big injury it was time to take some time off and take a step back and reflect on the situation and I didn’t want to come back just for the sake of coming back.”
At 30 years of age Tom believes he is still learning from every game he plays. He is also learning how far he can push himself; “I’m at the stage when I can’t play year-round,” he says, “I need to take care and make sure my body remains healthy.