Pakistan coach, Hussain Mazhar Hassan: “We have a very young team and we hope to be able to play at our top level. The common goal here is the Olympic Games, but I only hope that my players will be able to get more experience for the future. Our volleyball style is different from the other team here in Sofia, we use lot of combinations because we’re still lacking of power skills”.
Egypt coach, Elshemerly Sherif: “We lost a big chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in the Continental Qualification tournament in Cameroon. My team is the best team in Africa and so we’re really disappointed. Now we have little chances to make it here in Bulgaria: we have to challenge strong teams to reach London. This year was very difficult for us due to the political situation: our League was cancelled and the players did not have the possibility to play. Hopefully before coming here we worked a lot and very hard. So now it’s time to play, challenge every opponent and – most important – keep in touch with the high level volleyball”.
France coach, Philippe Blain: “I played twice the Olympic Games: the first time as a player, then as a coach. I tried to give this input to my player, to pass them this dream. The only expectation here is to win the tournament because there is only a ticket to Earls Court available. We tried to prepare as well as possible, and today I can say that the most important match is tomorrow’s game against Egypt: they’re a very good team and at the same time we need to start very well in this tournament. Obviously there is the game against Bulgaria, which is awaited for Saturday, and we’ll see then: it is going to be a big fight and the best will succeed”.
Bulgaria coach, Radostin Stoytchev: “Differently from Philippe Blain, I had the chance to go to the Olympic Game as a tourist only. For us it’s really important to win this tournament, we had several injuries but thanks to the work of our medical staff all the players are now back. Time is never enough to be prepared but I can confirm that we have big hopes and expectations for the competition, as our Bulgarian fans have”.