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17/04/2016 00:44
Thomas Jaeschke soaking up Final Four experience on the way to Rio Olympics
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Krakow, Poland, April 16, 2016. A number of up-and-coming players are making in Krakow their first ever appearance in a Final Four tournament of the elite CEV Volleyball Champions League. This applies inter alia to Thomas Jaeschke, the USA-born outside spiker of Asseco Resovia RZESZOW, who is actually spending his first year in a professional volleyball club. Though Resovia ended up losing their semi-final match with Zenit KAZAN, Jaeschke is enjoying the experience and hopes it will help him pursue another ambitious goal as he is attempting to make the USA Team for the Rio Olympics.

It must be hard to talk after this match, but how do you feel during your first ever Champions League Final Four?

I decided to leave school early to go and play for Asseco Resovia RZESZOW and the whole point of it was to get me ready for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and try to make that team. Sometimes I could ask myself if I made the right decision, but for the whole time since I’ve been here I felt that I made the right call 100%. On top of that, we are hosting the Final Four in a great environment, with tons of people - just like it is going to be during the Olympics. It’s amazing to get to host this for the first time when I am only 22 years old... it’s just incredible.
 
Does it help you personally to play against teams like Zenit KAZAN, especially since a lot of their players will compete in the Olympics?

Russians are huge, big physical guys! We have a couple of players like them, but you don’t see that every day. It’s definitely good to compete against players like that, you learn the high difference of everything. It’s a great experience to be able to do that.

When you got the call for the USA national team last year, did you expect that some months later you would be playing in the Final Four of the Champions League?

I didn’t, but life is pretty crazy. I played here in this venue last year against Poland during the World League and it was one of my best matches during that event. After that, I got an offer from Resovia, so it all happened really fast and I couldn’t expect this.

Is your family supporting you here?

My dad, uncle and grandfather are here to support me and enjoy the Final Four. It’s nice when I get to have my family here with me. I have been away from USA for a long time, so they came to see me for Easter with my mother and my twin brother. Now they are back for the competition, so it’s been really good these last few weeks.

Was that their first visit to Poland?

They visited me first time over Thanksgiving and that was the first time they have ever been to Poland.

How did you feel here on our own in your first months?

It was pretty difficult actually. Simply the transition from college where I was playing with all my best friends to playing in a professional club, not knowing anyone, in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. It was pretty intimidating, that was the biggest issue, so once I got over that, it was easier. All my teammates were really nice since the beginning and almost everyone in Poland speaks English at some level. When I first got here, I was pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing, but it was good after that.

You will spend two more years with Resovia, are you trying to learn some Polish language?

I am not actively trying to learn by taking classes, but I always poke the guys in my team and ask them what do certain things mean or to help me say this or that. Pronunciation in Polish is pretty difficult, there are sounds that we don’t even use, so it’s hard to learn that!

Click here for further information and visit the official website www.assecoresovia.pl/en/newsfinalfour/

Click here for a live gallery of the competition; on social media please use the official competition hashtags #CEVChampionsLeagueM and #CLF4Krakow

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