– You played three control matches with the representation of Belgium. You failed to win any. What good they have given of your team?
– This was the last opportunity before the Games to see what works best, in what form are the players. Soon I have to decide on the twelve players who we will take to London. Everyone has got a chance. I see many positive things and on the basis of that I will make the choice.
– Who do you think deserves the honor?
– Our team definitely has a very good setter Ben Pipes. Attacker, Dami Bakare – definitely they will play. With him is really a true athlete. We play volleyball quickly, I’m happy with the work we recently did. I already have a clear picture of the team that I will take. Our team is young, but very prospective. For example Dan Hunter is 22, Mark Plotyczer 25.
– During the game the team had its ups and downs. What do you think is the main problem?
– As mentioned earlier, during meetings with Belgium, I wanted to try a few variants of the game, check the players at different positions. In this game, for example, we played with two liberos. Because of that it can perhaps sometimes appear that there is a lack of understanding between the volleyball players.
– You started working with the representation of the UK in 2007. What did you achieve with the team?
– When I was appointed Great Britain coach, volleyball was not present in the culture of this country. It’s hard to compare with any other European country. We were very, very below the other representations. My goal was the fastest development of this discipline in Britain, measuring up – at the beginning – not against the strongest European teams, and now we will fight against the strongest teams of the world that will play in London. I think we did what we had to. We can play as equals, with teams such as representations of Belgium or Spain. Now we take another step and climb higher, to fight with even more teams. I’m not saying that once will win, but we will be tough opponents.
– What are you most proud of, as the coach of Britain?
– In previous tournaments, we showed that the volleyball in the UK has made progress. We played against teams which are higher in the world ranking. We had good matches with Egypt, overcame the representation of China and Mexico, which are in the first twenty. I think from what I’m most proud of is that we have made great progress. We started from scratch, not many people knew about volleyball in England.
– In the group stage, you are playing games with Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Poland and Italy. What are your goals?
– First of all, I disagree with the opinion that Brazil, Russia and USA are in the “group of death”. The vast majority of teams are strong. We will try to learn from these games much as possible. Maybe we can pull out a few sets. Let’s see how far we get. For sure we will fight and not give up.
– What are your plans after the Games? Will you continue to work with the representation of the UK?
– I do not know. I have a contract valid until the end of the Olympics. If the federation will want to work with me, and it is still not certain, I will be in England, if not, they will look for another challenge. My wife is Polish, so maybe I will lead a Polish club. We’ll see.
– What are your memories of the times when you coached AZS Czestochowa?
– I spent a season in the Polish club. It’s very nice to remember that time. In Poland, volleyball is at the highest level and I would be very happy to come back to PlusLigi. If I can find a club that will see me as their coach it would be great.
– Who do you think will be standing on the podium in London?
Oooo … it’s very hard to predict. It’s really a few teams, which can win the gold medal. The Olympics are, after all the competition of the best teams in the world. It will be a tournament at the highest level. Poland plays on a very good level. It’s on the same level as Brazil. Russia didn’t play its best in the World League, but you can never forget about it. Motivation will be the most important thing. I think those three teams will battle for the podium.