Serbia coach Zoran Terzic left no doubt that his side are taking the 2012 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix seriously, and not using it just for preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games, adding that this weekend’s hosts will “play with all our hearts” at the press conference on Wednesday.
Serbia will welcome Argentina, Turkey and Cuba to Belgrade this weekend for Pool H as they look to add to their solitary victory over Italy in Lodz, Poland.
Zoran Terzic, Serbia coach: “I hope we play better this time. The first weekend we played poorly in the first two matches, and only in the third we showed what we are capable of. We know all the rivals, but we’ll have to see them on court. I hope we have improved our game since the last weekend. I have to stress that this competition is by no means a preparation for the Olympic Games since we play with all our hearts each and every match and it is our responsibility to aim for the best result. Of course, we played in Japan, and we are extremely tired, we have many players injured, but those who will play will do their best, I am sure of it.”
Horacio Bastit, Argentina coach: “We started our campaign last week and we didn’t perform well. However, our main goal is to participate in this great competition and acquire as much experience as we can. We will try to win one match here, but if we don’t succeed, never mind. The only important thing is to be here with the great teams and playing with them try to improve our performance.”
Juan Carlos Gala Rodriguez, Cuba coach: “We started this competition with the victory in the first tournament. This pool is much more difficult. As we didn’t manage to qualify to the Olympic Games, we are using this to renovate our team, to get in shape and to set the pace for the next four years.”
Marco Aurelio Motta, Turkey coach: “We have great expectations from this competition. We qualified for the Olympic Games, and we have to perform well. The calendar of the competitions is very tight, but it is the same for everyone. Currently, we have many ups and downs in our game, we are not at the top level, but we are getting there. We will surely do our best to perform well in front of this wonderful volleyball fans here.”
Emilce Sosa, Argentina captain: “We are very happy to be here. The first tournament didn’t go as well as we have planned, but we hope that we will improve our game in this tournament.”
Yusidey Silie Frometa, Cuba captain: “The first tournament we played well and we have won all the matches, but this one will be more difficult and I hope we can maintain our focus and improve further more.”
Jovana Brakocevic, Serbia vice-captain: “We are the hosts of the FIBV World Grand Prix tournament for the first time, and I am very happy that we’ll going to play in front of the crowd in Belgrade. We will be playing against extremely good teams, but we will do our best not to disappoint.”
Esra Gumus, Turkey captain: “We have nothing but good memories from Belgrade, since we participated at the European Championship played last year in Serbia where we achieved a very notable result. We are satisfied we our performance in the FIVB World Grand Prix up to this moment, but we hope to play even better. We are looking at some extremely difficult matches here.”
photos Janos Schmidt