Italian Men’s NT will start their 2017 FIVB World League – Group 1 campaign at home court (Pesaro, June 2-4) with one debutant, Riccardo Sbertoli, several young players from the 2015 CEV European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, and without Ivan Zaytsev and Osmany Juantorena! Libero Salvatore Rossini is also absent. In the 21-man list there are seven names from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games (Giannelli, Vettori, Buti, Piano, Antonov, Lanza and Colaci).
“The post-Olympic year is always a bit special, you have to start thinking about the future and certain situations must be taken into account. This is also the only season in which it is possible to give a break to some players who had no time to take it in the past few years, and have played more than others in a tiring and challenging event like the World League. In making my choices, I focused on a group who I think might be the core of a team that can ensure continuity of performance and reliability. A group of players who has proven to be able to compete at the highest level and who is aiming to do well this season also in the view of the European Championships, that remains our main goal, and for which there will be changes in the roster,” Blengini explained his choices and between the lines, the absence of Zaytsev and Juantorena.
Gianlorenzo Blengini’s list for the World League:
Setters: Simone Giannelli (Trentino), Riccardo Sbertoli (Milano) and Luca Spirito (Ravenna)
Opposites: Gabriele Nelli (Trentino), Giulio Sabbi (Molfetta) and Luca Vettori (Modena)
Middle blockers: Simone Buti (Perugia), Davide Candellaro (Lube), Enrico Cester (Lube), Daniele Mazzone (Trentino), Matteo Piano (Modena) and Fabio Ricci (Ravenna)
Receivers: Oleg Antonov (Trentino), Iacopo Botto (Monza), Filippo Lanza (Trentino), Tiziano Mazzone (Trentino), Randazzo (Verona) and Michele Fedrizzi (Padova)
Liberos: Fabio Balaso (Padova), Massimo Colaci (Trentino) and Nicola Pesaresi (Lube).
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