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12/07/2019 14:58
12 teams to battle for #EuroVolleyU17M crown in Sofia
2019 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Sofia, Bulgaria, July 12, 2019. On Saturday starts the #EuroVolleyU17M in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Bulgarian capital will host the 2019 U17 Men’s European Championship from July 13 to 21, 2019. It is only the second edition of the event in this age group. In 2017 Italy claimed the title, being followed by Belgium and the hosts Turkey. In total 37 countries participated in a bid to qualify for the final round in Sofia, only twelve of them will start a medal campaign tomorrow.
The participating teams have been divided into two six-team pools by the Drawing od Lots which was held earlier this year.

Pool I features hosts Bulgaria, Finland, Turkey, Romania, Belarus and France which play their matches in Hristo Botev Hall. Pool II consists of Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, Greece and Portugal and these teams are going to compete at the Training Hall in Arena Armeec. The top two teams of each group after the pool phase will progress to the semi-finals, while the third and fourth placed teams of both pools will play classification matches for places 5-8. The new #EuroVolleyU17M champion will be known on Sunday, July 21.

The Bulgaria national team aim high. “A few weeks ago we hosted the U17 Balkan Championship in Sofia and we won all five games. I believe that it was a good mental training ahead of the European Championship. We play at home and we are very happy about it, we hope that we will show our best volleyball, and game by game, we will get closer to our goal, to the #EuroVolleyU17M medal. The teams in our group present a similar level, so details can decide. We expect wonderful games here in Sofia,” said Martin Stoev, head coach of Bulgaria.

The head coach of the defending champions admit that the group stage will be challenging. “We have trained hard to reach our goals. This is a demanding and difficult tournament, because we do not know the other teams very well. We are in a tough pool. We have two very strong opponents: Poland and Russia, so we have to be focused on the games against them,” explained Renato Barbon.

Poland didn’t qualify to the final round of the first #EuroVolleyU17M edition in 2017, but now they are among the medal contenders. “Everyone comes here to fight for a medal. We are here to win every game, so we will fight for every point and every set. We are well-prepared and self-confident. We respect our opponents, but we are aware of our own worth. Successes of our other national teams give us an extra boost,” emphasised Ariel Fijol, head coach of Poland.
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