Estonia’s head coach Urmas Tali did not expect this result before traveling to Sofia: “We thought that Bulgaria and Germany were the clear-cut favorites for that sole ticket to the World Champs but game after game we could realize that we could stand a chance also against these high-profile opponents. We got the right boost of confidence after winning a five-setter with Romania on our first competition day. That was the key moment for us and even though we had many ups and downs in our matches with Romania and Bulgaria, everything went well in the end for us” he adds.
The major reason for that success and amazing progress stems from the fact that many members of the national team could play in Estonia’s first division this year. Robert Täht, Andri Aganits, Kevin Soo and Renee Teppan all played a complete season in the SCHENKER League where teams from Estonia and neighboring Latvia compete. It is already rumored that 19-year old Andri Aganits may move this summer to Germany to play there in the Bundesliga.
Some of the players included on the roster are also set to compete at the Summer Universiade that is scheduled for early July in Kazan, Russia, so the coaching staff will need to work on a suitable program to make sure they will be ready to “peak” once more by the time Estonia celebrates its second World Championship appearance come late August in Ankara and Izmir, Turkey.
To read more news from this competition click on 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship – European Qualification.