Brisbane, Australia May 14, 2015 – Towering opposite spiker Thomas Edgar, considered by many as one of the fiercest in his position, has been named captain of the Australian for the year 2015.
By chance, Edgar’s first match as captain will be in front of his home fans in Brisbane on May 15, when the Volleyroos play the first of three friendly matches against Asian rivals China.
Edgar is thrilled that his family, many of whom have never seen him play, will be in the crowd on Friday.
“A lot of my aunts and uncles have not seen me play live before," Edgar said. "So this will be something special especially for my grandmother, she’s never actually seen me play live.”
While few Australians outside the volleyball community would know the name Thomas Edgar, in volleyball communities of Europe, South America and Asia, the 25-year-old Queenslander is a household name.
Opposing teams anticipate his power, and often concentrate their entire game plan to stop his vicious attacks.
The 212cm tall athlete has been playing in top international club leagues in Poland, Italy and Korea, since he was a teenager. He played a major role in getting Australia into the London 2012 Olympic Games and then into Group 1 of the prestigious FIVB Volleyball World League last year.
“It is a great honour,” Edgar said. “I guess not many people get to say that they are captain of the national team. Coach (Roberto) Santilli said he liked the energy I brought to the team.”
Edgar was given the chance to captain the Australian team two years ago, but felt then that the timing was not right.
“Back in 2013, the prospect of me taking on the captaincy was raised,” Edgar said. “I felt I already had a big enough role in the team as opposite spiker, and I was happy to just leady with my actions.
“It is just going to be about maintaining my performance while trying to get the best out of the guys as well, which I was already doing anyway.”
Edgar explained that his role as captain will change some things but he expects his team-mates to also step up.
“It does change things a little bit,” Edgar said. “I’ll have to control my actions in some instances. But I think it will be very manageable because we have a lot of older guys in our team who lead as well. So it’s not just one person, it’s a group.”
Friday night will only be the second time Edgar and many of his team-mates have played for the Volleyroos in Brisbane, and as Edgar remembers it, he did not see much of the last Brisbane game against Canada in 2010.
“I think I was on for about three points for the entire game,” Edgar laughed. “Five years on and things couldn’t be more different. It’s great to play any game for Australia, not just one in front of your home crowd, but to be captain and to have my family there to watch me in my first game as captain will be really special.”
Australia will play China at Logan Metro Centre on May 15 and 16 before heading to Canberra for the third game on May 19.
Their World League campaign kicks off against World No. 4 Italy in Adelaide on May 29.