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14/07/2013 21:00
The era of the mighty "Red Dragons"
2013 CEV Volleyball European League – Men

Marmaris, Turkey, July 14, 2013. The new champions of CEV Volleyball European League – Men provide two glaring and groundbreaking attributes to the newly conquered continental crown: a sensational record and a cool nickname.
Belgium reached the top spot of the podium in the 2013 CEV Volleyball European League – Men after achieving an outstanding run of fourteen victories in fourteen matches. Only The Netherlands in 2006 had accomplished before the amazing milestone of winning each one of the matches they had contested in the tournament. This time, Belgium earned gold after closing the League round with 12 wins and only 7 sets lost. In the Final Four, the Belgian squad beat the Czech Republic in the semifinal 3:0 and Croatia in the final again in straight sets.

The dominance demonstrated by Belgium in this competition has been so significant that the squad trained by Dominique Baeyens had registered during the league phase an outstanding streak of eight victories by 3:0, three by 3:1 and only two by 3:2, as the Belgian players earned the ticket to the Final Four on the third leg of the preliminaries, with still one round to go. “The factors for our success were that we have a great team spirit and a lot of energy; but above all, that we have very intelligent players, who can face any difficulty they encounter”, said head coach Dominique Baeyens. “We feel like we deserved this victory”, pointed out opposite Bram Van den Dries; “the atmosphere in the team is great, we are all friends and we have so much fun together, that’s what makes us so special as a team”, added the player elected MVP of the tournament.

The combination of youth and experience and the talent on court became key in the victorious path of Belgium to the title in this edition of the CEV Volleyball European League. Most of the team members come from the successful generation that claimed bronze in the 2007 CEV Youth Volleyball European Championship, as it is the case of MVP Bram Van den Dries and Best Setter, Matthias Valkiers. The likes of Simon Van de Voorde, Stijn D´Hulst and Sam Deroo would join in the subsequent teams that reached seventh and eighth positions in the 2008 and 2010 CEV Junior European Championship.  “In Belgium, we have a great run of Volleyball at the moment, and the successes of men and women team in the European League this season only prove that”, stated Baeyens. 

“In three words: we are passionate about the game; we stay cool in difficult moments; and every player can make the difference. That’s our secret”, declared Dominique Baeyens. Belgium also presents an attribute that other teams lack: a brand new and cool nickname.

The players themselves chose the epithet Red Dragons to define their courage for victory. Following the appellations of Red Devils for Belgium national football team and Red Lions for the basketball national squad, the choice wouldn’t be easy. “The players felt that they were being left behind in Belgium, so they selected a nickname that could represent them and give them the visibility they deserved”, declared head coach, Dominique Baeyens. “Also, the dragons spit fire”, he added. “We started using it a while ago but it was only in May when we made it official, through a campaign in social networks”, stated Bram Van den Dries. “People started loving it and now everybody in Belgium calls us that. It’s being a big success in our country”.

The 2013 CEV Volleyball European League title the Red Dragons just won will surely be helpful in their intentions to rule Volleyball.   

News nr. 1 of 55
14/07/2013 19:15:00
Belgium finishes its campaign by winning gold in Marmaris

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