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08/05/2013 11:00
Serbia and Belgium top favorites at junior world qualifier in Subotica
2013 FIVB Volleyball Women's U20 World Championship - European Qualification

Subotica, Serbia, May 8, 2013. A total of five teams – the hosts of Serbia, plus Belgium, Denmark, France and Portugal – will start today their quest for the sole ticket at stake to make it to the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship scheduled for June 21-30 in Brno and Prostejov, Czech Republic. The winner of the tournament taking place in Subotica will join the 2012 European champions of Turkey and the hosts of the Czech Republic to compose the European contingent for that competition along with the teams finishing atop of the charts in the other qualifiers running this week.
The Technical Director of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, Mr. Dragutin Cuk, addressed a warm welcome to all officials and teams on Tuesday evening as a technical meeting was held at hotel “Galleria” in Subotica. The floor was then given to CEV Technical Delegate and ESOC member Igor Dolinšek of Slovenia and CEV Referee Delegate Peter Scheffer (NED).

“We do not know much about the other teams but this tournament is certainly going to be a valuable experience for my players” Denmark’s mentor Skafte Herskind says. “We had a long journey and our practice was not that good but I hope for the best even though France is a very good team. Anyway, we are here to learn and this is already a good starting point” he adds.

“This is a very strong Pool because we do not know much about Denmark and Portugal may cause a sensation” Belgium’s head coach Julien Van de Vyver stresses. “France and Serbia are quite understandably real pretenders for that ticket to the World Champs by taking into account their strength in Volleyball. However, this tournament is a good opportunity for all of my players too. I do hope that Belgium and Serbia will prolong their rivalry by playing another great game. It is always difficult to predict who will have the upper hand in the end and who is likely to finish first in the group” he continues.  

“We came here to win this tournament but we know that Serbia and Belgium are very good teams too. Last year we played them and lost but this time we want to be the ones to smile in the end” France’s mentor Gael Le Draoulec points out. “We have been working hard so I think that everything is possible. Though we play in Serbia, we believe in our chances”.

The only female coach in the group, Gilda Harris, says: “We do not know much about Serbia but Portugal has come here to fight and possibly to win. This is going to be a very difficult tournament so we’ll take it step by step”.

“I expect that we will play good Volleyball because we really want to qualify for the World Championship” admits home mentor Ratko Pavlicevic. “We want to join the tournament that is set to run in the Czech Republic because this generation of players deserves this opportunity. I think that my team has got the right qualities to achieve this goal and will play good enough to finish first in the group”.
The competition is set to start on Wednesday afternoon with France playing Denmark and the hosts of Serbia testing out the likes of Portugal. Belgium will debut on Thursday.  

Click here for a detailed schedule

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