Coaches and captains ready for World Grand Prix action in Kaliningrad


Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin

Kaliningrad, Russia, July 13, 2017 - Team coaches and captains attended a press conference on Thursday ahead of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Pool F1 in Kaliningrad, which will see hosts Russia take on Belgium, the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.

Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin said: "I am glad to see teams with a high international rating on home soil, in Kaliningrad. We will play and compete with each team. We don’t have the best attackers of the world here with us - Natalia Goncharova and Tatyana Kosheleva are absent - and I expect difficult matches. Good results are always a goal, but I want to test all our young players."

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Russia captain Irina Koroleva said: "We had difficult matches in the previous round, but I hope to please fans with victories in Kaliningrad. To be a part of the national team is a great happiness and responsibility, it is rewarded with joy after victories. The most difficult thing is to return to the national team after a season when there is no rest. Perhaps our calendar needs to be adjusted. We have a great desire to win tomorrow."

Netherlands coach Jimmy Morrison said: "We hope to play interesting matches and to improve the quality of our game. It is our main goal - to improve our game with each match, with each point, but it’ll be three difficult matches. We have new young players in the team, but there are some who played at the Olympics. My goal was to increase the number of young players. In the World Grand Prix we have a mix of players, and experienced volleyball players will train young ones, to impart knowledge and experience".

Netherlands captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues said: "We look forward to the matches. It is an honour to play for the national team and to represent the Netherlands. All of us have the goal to improve and to be one of world-best".

Belgium coach Vande Broek Gert said: "Three big matches are coming. We hope that we will be able to show good results. We are ambitious, we want to win several games in the World Grand Prix. Our goal is to improve the quality of our game. During games with strong rivals, we want to level up our skills."

Belgium captain Charlotte Leys said: "The first week wasn't really good, but in the second week we hope that we will play better and we will be able to fight with these teams. It will be difficult, but I hope that everything will be alright"

Dominican Republic coach Kwiek Marcos said: "Kaliningrad is our second stop in the World Grand Prix. The first step was rather good, we hope that we will play well further."

Dominican Republic captain Bethania De La Cruz said: "I wasn't in the team when they played with Russia last time. We all know that Russia are a strong opponent. And we know that complex work is necessary to find a way to compete with them."


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