Lausanne, Switzerland, May 6, 2015 – Portugal coach Hugo Silva called up 22 players to prepare for the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World League and the third and last qualification round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men.
Portugal will start their World League campaign against the Netherlands at the Centro de Desportos e Congressos de Matosinhos on May 16 and will also play Finland and Belgium in Pool E. In a short break from their duties in the 2015 World League, Portugal will play Slovenia for a spot in the Final Round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men.
Silva was happy to be able to gather a large group of his players: “It’s important to highlight the efforts made by the Portuguese Volleyball Federation to gather, for the first time, almost two squads at the same time to work together.”
While the training camp began on May 4, it wasn’t without problems. “Due to the national championship schedules, it’s possible that we will only be able to gather all 22 players on May 11,” Silva said. “That gives us little time to work and prepare for such a demanding competition. These are the conditions that we have to cope with. As always, we’ll fight for our goals and our main objective is to reach the Final Round of the European Championship, although we are aware of the difficulties as we haven’t beaten Slovenia in the past seven years. This shows that the task at hand is very demanding, but at the same time, it constitutes a challenge that comes with great motivation to change the future.”
Regarding the FIVB World League Intercontinental Round, Silva says: “This competition starts very early for us and it will be, above all, an opportunity for the younger players to grow and to compete at this level, which I believe is the dream for every athlete. It will be an important moment in the team’s renovation. Let us hope they’ll seize this opportunity.”
Portugal will play 12 matches in this year’s World League Intercontinental Round, which begins against the Netherlands (May 16-17). Afterwards, the Portuguese will visit Finland (June 4-5), Belgium (June 12-13) and the Netherlands (June 19-20). The last two weekends will take place at Póvoa de Varzim, where Portugal will first host Belgium (June 27-28) and then Finland (July 4-5).