Greece ready to return to global volleyball stage with Volleyball Empowerment

CEV-FIVB : Infos lun 13 novembre 2023

When Greece last played in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship back in 2006 in Japan, the majority of the players in their current U20 team were toddlers while some were not even born.

It is this junior team that the Hellenic Volleyball Federation (HVF) has pinned its hopes on to return Greece back to the global volleyball stage at the FIVB World Championships in 2027.

The FIVB has invested CHF 36,000 of coach support in Greece through the transformational FIVB Volleyball Empowerment programme with Greek coach Konstantinos Liosis taking charge of the men’s U20 team.

According to HVF Executive Director Periklis Bakodimos, Volleyball Empowerment has helped build a strong junior team from scratch which they believe will soon make Greece a force to reckon with in European and global volleyball circles. For starters, this project will face a litmus test next year when Greece hosts the CEV Men’s U20 Championship.

“When we started this project, we wanted to have a full-time coach working with the boys throughout to monitor their development. Liosis has a good history with developing young players, so it was an easy choice to make. It’s a very expensive project and we could not have done it without financial assistance from the FIVB.

“We started when these boys were 17 to 18 years old, and we are happy with their progress. That’s why we bid to host the U20 competition to test them at this high level. It’s the first step of Greece returning to major international competitions plus the European finals of U18 Women ,” said Bakodimos.

Bold ambitions for Great generation

After participating in the CEV Men’s U20 Championship 2024, Bakodimos believes their “dream team” will be ready to transition to senior ranks and at least reach the quarterfinals of EuroVolley 2026.

“It’s a great generation and we hope that the majority of them will graduate to the senior team. This is their last stage of development and that’s why we want them to get the experience of playing in front of home supporters in a big competition. We are grateful to the FIVB for giving us two floors which will help us to host this competition.

“After this, our focus will shift to EuroVolley 2026. We are lucky that we will have around two years to prepare our team for this competition. Our target is to reach the quarterfinals which will definitely help us improve our FIVB ranking and take us closer to our dream of returning to the World Championships in 2027 since the competition will have 32 teams,” said Bakodimos.

Greece is currently ranked 36th on the FIVB World Rankings and 18th in Europe, and will now look to start its climb back up to the top.

© Source CEV-FIVB : afficher la source.