Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 13, 2017 – The coaches of Kazakhstan, Germany, Croatia and Colombia all agreed to utilise the second weekend of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix to leverage their chances of progressing to the later stages of the competition. The teams converged for a press conference on Thursday as they gear up for competition in Almaty’s Baluan Sholak Sports Palace.
Kazakhstan coach Vyacheslav Shapran welcomed all the teams to the host city and said: “I hope this World Grand Prix will increase the interest of volleyball even more in our country. As you know, the city of Almaty loves volleyball, and I hope in the next three days, there will be a lot of spectators in the tribunes.”
Germany coach Felix Koslowski said: “We are very happy to go for the second week of the World Grand Prix. The first stage for us was good as we fought very hard. For the next round, we must keep on fighting with the spirit we had. We are happy to play against Colombia and Croatia, two very young teams in this competition. Kazakhstan had some difficulty in the last week, dealing with some injuries. Now the new players will need to step up to expectations to be much stronger than the last week. We hope to prepare well for the match against Kazakhstan tomorrow.”
Croatia coach Miroslav Aksentijević said: “I would like to thank all our volleyball friends from the Kazakhstan Volleyball Federation, as we have the perfect conditions to play here. My team comes here as, maybe, one of the youngest teams here in this group. This weekend, we will be stronger. Our team captain, Samanta Fabris, and the rest are all expected to improve and to perform better. As we played last week in Argentina, we have observed all the teams. Germany started very well in the first week. We also know Colombia and Kazakhstan as we played them last season. All teams for sure will play good volleyball, and the spectators will enjoy this weekend.”
Colombia coach Antonio Rizola Neto said: “I am very happy to be here. It is the first time for me, personally, but the second time for the team to stay here. My team is a very, very young team. We had many changes in the last year. But I believe that this group is a very good group for us to gain experience. My team needs to play as many international matches. During the last round in Peru, our team, for the first time, won against Puerto Rico. It was very good for Colombian volleyball to gain that result.”