Algeria are making their final preparations before Friday's opener against Peru
Tokyo, Algeria head coach Ikhedji Mouloud named his final 12-strong squad for the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship, which starts on Friday in Japan.
The final list includes three European-based players led by the talented opposite Lydia Oulmou. A player for French club Istres, Oulmou was named MVP at the 2009 African Nations Championship and returned from injury for the Algerians' preparation camp in the Czech Republic. Making up the foreign-based trio are wing spiker Faiza Tsabet, who plays for Tenerife in Spain, and team captain Narimene Madani from French club Harnes.
The remaining nine squad members play for clubs in Algeria with ASW Bejaia the best represented with five players in Mouni Abderrahim, Tassadit Aissou, Safia Boukhima, Celia Magnana and Aicha Mezmate. Also included are the Groupement Sportive Petroliers trio of Zohra Bensalem, Salima Hammouche and Fatma-Zohra Oukazi, and libero Nawal Mansouri from NC Bejaia.
The 2009 African champions began their preparations in Prague last month where they played three friendly matches against the Czech Republic. They had another camp in Milan before heading to Japan on October 18, ten days ahead of their first match against Pool A rivals Peru in Tokyo on Friday.
The North African side's first appearance at the World Championship is the culmination of a successful era which began with a gold medal at the 2007 All Africa Games. Algeria then clinched the African berth at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and finally in 2009 they finished at the top of the podium in the African Nations Championship for the first time.
Mouloud's squad booked their ticket to Japan alongside Kenya from the African preliminary competition. They will face two friendly matches ahead of their opener against Peru, after which they will take on Costa Rica, hosts Japan, Serbia and Poland in Pool A.