Statements by the head coach and team captain of ACH Volley
Igor Kolaković, head coach: “I would like to stress the strength of the CEV cup, because many people mistakenly believe that it is a second-class competition. The competition features very strong teams, which didn’t progress in the Champions League due to circumstance. A good example is the Turkish Fenerbahce, which is the leading team in the Turkish league, but another Turkish team qualified for the Final Four tournament, Arkas. Fenerbache lost to Resovia in the previous round of the CEV cup. Not to mention the team from Moscow and many others. As regards Asseco Resovia Rzesow, it is clear that they have a wide line-up, 19 top players on all positions, who can play at any time. This was evident in the quarterfinal matches against Fenerbahce. Their quality in the Polish national league, PlusLiga, is also displayed by the information that they won against Belchatow, which eliminated ACH Volley from the Champions League. In Poland, the entire town lives with volleyball and they actually play in front of full stands. About our team, we must be patient and wait for our opportunity, fight for every point, because we don’t have the quality this Polish team has. Our service will be very important, because their reception isn’t their best feature. Our defence will be important as well. I believe in my team, we have intelligent young players and I am happy to be able to work with them. The match will be difficult, but interesting, and we are looking forward to it.”
Andrej Flajs, team captain of ACH Volley: “The team has changed considerably compared to the one we played against in the 2009/2010 Champions League season. They have a new head coach as well, and the team includes the best Polish volleyball players as well as very good foreign players. It will be difficult to play against them in Poland. However, we aren’t giving up. Two years ago, we were two sets up against them, but then our game fell and we lost. I hope we are more mature and responsible today, and above all that we won’t have too much respect for our opponents. We are looking forward to the second match in Tivoli, because the match in Poland practically won’t count. The match in Ljubljana will be crucial, and how much support we will get from our home fans, which can create a fantastic atmosphere. If both teams win one match, the golden set decides. We are focusing on the match on 17 March in Ljubljana, but we will undoubtedly give everything in Poland“, added Andrej Flajs.
As regards the health situation in the team, Igor Kolaković explained Alen Šket had some knee problems, while Dejan Vinčić suffered from a sore throat, but they were able to play without considerable problems in the match against Salonit Anhovo in the Slovenian national competition on Tuesday. Unfortunately, we received news after the press conference that Šket’s knee isn’t doing well and that he needs rest. The management of ACH Volley decided that Alen Šket won’t join the team in Slovakia and Poland, but will focus on intensive therapy. This means that the young and perspective player Klemen Čebulj will get the opportunity to play.