1 day to go: Voices from coaches and captains as record-breaking Final Four is around the corner

Everything is set for a terrific Volleyball show as the city of Berlin is about to play host to the Final Four tournament of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. The organisers are about to set an all-time record of attendance for a Volleyball competition at the Max-Schmeling-Halle as the provision of extra tribunes has increased its capacity to 9,350 seats.

The Final Four weekend will be a historic one for a number of reasons: for the first time in CEV’s history each team will be able to line up 14 players, the touch of the block has been added to the features of the Challenge System, coaches and referees will be using tablets to follow the match as it unfolds to call for time-outs, substitutions and to challenge the decisions of the referees where this is applicable. On top of this, the brand new official Champions League tune will be played for the first time.

The Manager of the BERLIN Recycling Volleys, Kaweh Niroomand, deserved a warm welcome to everyone as Germany as this country is playing host for the very first time to the Final Four of Europe’s elite competition: “I am very glad and happy to have you all in our city. Welcome to Berlin, the German capital. I don’t know who will be the champion at the end of this weekend but one thing is for sure: Volleyball will be the eventual winner. Thank you very much for coming, I am sure we will talk about these days for many years to come.”

Vladimir Alekno, coach of Zenit KAZAN: “I won’t be that original in my statement, but of course we are evidently happy with our participation in this Final Four tournament. We have come to Berlin with the goal of playing our best and winning the trophy.”

Nikolay Apalikov, captain of the Russian team: “It has been a difficult journey, and a very demanding one.  Now that we are here we are determined to play their best and to try and win.”

Home mentor Mark Lebedew: “Welcome to everyone, we look forward to the Volleyball festival to come.  As we knew earlier we would be playing, we have prepared a little longer, however it is not possible to fully prepare for this level of competition. We will fight for every possibility and do everything for our fans to win.”

PGE Skra’s hero Mariusz Wlazly: “My expectations are just the same, we would like to play with full commitment, fight for each ball and of course win the tournament. We are totally focused on the first match and it is the most important thing now.”

His mentor Miguel Angel Falasca said: “This is my First Final Four as a coach, we are happy to be here, and it feels great to qualify for the Final Four.  We will try with all our power to get the title.”

Lukasz Perlowski, captain of Asseco Resovia RZESZOW: “We are really excited with our first participation in the Final Four tournament. We came to fight for every ball and win as much as we can.”

Andrzej Kowal, coach of the Polish team: “I am very excited for this first tournament. We are very happy as we have played Skra many times in the Polish league. We are not the favourites going into the semis but we will see how we do tomorrow.”

All information about the CEV Champions League Final Four from March 28-29 in Berlin:

Website | www.berlin2015.br-volleys.de

Facebook | www.facebook.com/CLfinal4


Lisa Theves

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PHOTO: cev.lu

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