Olympiacos S.F.P. announced the beginning of the collaboration with bomber Gavin Schmitt! A 32-year-old Canadian international signed a one-year contract with the defending champions of Greece. So far, Schmitt collected several gold medals on his account: the 2009 South Korean Cup, 2010, 2011 and 2012 South Korean championship (all with Daejeon Samsung Fire Bluefangs), and 2015 Turkish championship (Arkas Spor). Individually, he was named Best Scorer of the Pan American Cup twice, Best Spiker in the same tournament twice as well and Best Scorer and Best Server of the Pan American Games once each. His personal scoring record in a single match is 58 points (2012 in Korean championship) which put him at No.2 on the world’s best scorer’s list. Last season, Schmitt wore the jersey of the Japanese side Toray Arrows. Before hiring Schmitt, Olympiacos closed another big transfer – the Finnish setter Eemi Tervaportti (Stocznia Szczecin, Poland). As for the renewals, the red and white team tied Dutch outside hitter Jeroen Rauwerdink, libero Georgios Stefanou, setter Kostas Stivachtis, and opposite Nikos Zoupanis.
The runners-up P.A.O.K. keep up with Olympiacos when it comes to hiring big names. Serbia national team middle blocker Aleksandar Okolić is a new member of the Thessaloniki team. A 25-year-player came from Berlin Recycling Volleys with whom he has just won the German Bundesliga title, making 56% attack in average on 27 league games. Before coming to PAOK, Okolić won Serbian championship and cup 5 times each (all with Crvena zvezda Belgrade) and two titles in Germany with BR Volleys. With the national team of Serbia, he won the gold medal in the 2016 FIVB World League while back in 2011, Okolić became the U19 world champion. In addition, PAOK hired middle blocker Tasos Gatsis (A.O. Foinikas Syros) and outside hitter Kostas Kapetanidis (E.S.O. Epikouros Polichnis, Division 2). They renewed with the setter Thanos Terzis and libero Dimitrios Konstantinidis.
AE Komotinis, the newcomers in the top division, renewed with four players: opposite Aris Andreadis and outside hitters Aiada Papadakos, Giorgos Christakos, and Thanasis Papageorgiou. Komotinis engaged a 2.07m tall Rwandan opposite Nelson Murangwa. Last season, he competed for Tricolorul LMV Ploiești (Romania) but was forced to return to his home country due to administrative reasons and finished the 2017/18 with Gisagara Volleyball Club. The VolleyLeague rookies also engaged an experienced Brazilian setter Renan Bertassoni from EMS Taubaté Funvic.
Panathinaikos A.O. strengthened their roster with an experienced Argentinean-born setter Axel Jacobsen. A 35-year-old player has returned to his roots by competing internationally for Denmark national team from 2004. Last season, Jacobsen spent playing in the Israeli Hapoel Mate Asher Akko with whom he won the double crown (championship and cup).
A.E.K. build a competitive roster for the next season upon returning to the Greek top flight as they signed four players in recent several days: the Brazilian outside hitter Deivid Mota and middle blocker Dimitris Charalampidis (both from Iraklis Chalkidas) as well as two outside hitters – the Brazilian Daniel Maciel (Association Sportive Cannes Volley-Ball, France, Division 2) and Georgios Tzioumakas (BCC Castellana Grotte, Italy).