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10/04/2015 17:49
Turkish coach wants his young players to please their country people
2015 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Sakarya, Turkey, April 10, 2015. The hosts of Turkey made it through the preliminary round of the 2015 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Men in a great way by winning four out of five games but they had to accept one surprisingly defeat in straight sets against Germany, too. As a result of this they will face the giants and former champions from Poland in the semifinal on Saturday (14.30 CEST+1). Today the Turkish coach Salih Erdoğan Tavaci talked in an interview about the past days, the upcoming fight against Poland and the injury that just affected one of his key players, Adis Lagumdzija.

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Mr. Tavaci, the preliminary round is over. You had to accept one defeat against Germany on Thursday. What do you think about the performances of your team in the prelims?

“We started the preliminary round against Bulgaria and finished with the game against Germany. Except for the third and fourth sets of our match with Bulgaria and the last one in the game with Germany, we performed well. We never accepted losing, we fought well and did our best in any case. But for example we lost our rhythm after the second set against Bulgaria and again after leading at the beginning of the last set against Germany, we struggled in the end. Altogether I am generally satisfied with our performance.”

What were the main reasons for the last defeat after four confident and successful matches?
“We wanted to win the last game to finish the pool as the leaders. We prepared ourselves for this goal. But after Adis Lagumdzija’s injury, we had to change our system. We had a good reaction in the second set but Germany played better than us. They needed at least two sets to make the semis and deserved to win.”

It looked like your players were really disappointed after that game. What have you done to build up their confidence for tomorrow?
“We made our training in the morning and we will have individual and team meetings in the evening. There is no disappointment in our team. I am very proud of my team and I told this to them, too. It is a good sign that my players got very upset after four consecutive wins. They are a very strong team and will never accept a defeat. Our team learnt how they feel after a defeat, however the level of our performance is very good, both physically and mentally. We are ready for the semifinal.”

You will play against Poland in the semis. What do you know about them?

“Being the leader in a pool that includes Italy, Russia and France is an important achievement. And they played well during the preliminary round. They are a very good team and they always reach the last stages of important tournaments. But we are a good team too. Our endurance is good. We want Turkey to watch us in the final game.”

Adis Lagumdzija missed the last two sets against Germany due to an injury. What happened to him and is he able to play against Poland?
“Adis has a muscle problem with his right leg. We did not risk him yesterday and he did not participate in the training today. It will be a last minute call if he will play in the semifinal or not.”

How important is his contribution for your team?

“He is as important as any other player in our roster. He has been doing his best like his teammates. There is no importance ranking for our team. Because if you do not play as a team, every team can beat you. One player’s absence cannot be a reason for a defeat. This is a team sport. The first two sets against Germany were very close and you could see that it is an important thing to play as a team. There are 12 valuable players in our roster. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be here.”

What is the goal for now?
“While we were building this team, our aim was to be appreciated for our effort even when we lose a game. I always say “We have to fight” to my players. We have to do the same. The results will come after that.”

What can you tell us about the support you receive while building this team?
“The President of the Turkish Volleyball Federation Özkan Mutlugil and all board members of TVF such as Mustafa Ekşi, Akif Üstündağ and Ahmet Göksu, always gave a great support to us. We thank them for this. We want to repay this support with success. We are doing our best from staff to players. We aim to achieve the best that we can for TVF and for our country.”

Click here for further information on Final Round of the 2015 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship – Men

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