Skip Navigation Links
15/04/2016 23:49
It’s time for Volleyball to take centre stage in Slovenia! – F4 rookie Tine Urnaut
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Krakow, Poland, April 15, 2016. Six months ago Tine Urnaut made history by claiming an unprecedented silver medal with Slovenia’s national team at the men’s EuroVolley in Sofia. This coming weekend Urnaut will be vying for more glory with TRENTINO Diatec when performing at the Final Four tournament of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men in Krakow. It is his first appearance in the final stage of Europe’s elite club competition and interestingly enough another member of the Slovenian national team, Klemen Cebulj, will be standing on the other side of the net on Saturday when TRENTINO play arch-rivals Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA in the second semi-final.

“It feels great and I am very proud of being here for what is the most anticipated Volleyball weekend of the year,” Urnaut says. “This is one of the goals we had set at the beginning of the season and I could not be any happier than to be able to perform on the stage of the Final Four, which is the ultimate dream of any Volleyball player,” he continues.

Actually the current season did not start in the best way for Urnaut as the captain of the Slovenian national team had to deal with a broken rib following the men’s EuroVolley and could finally play for TRENTINO only after taking some weeks off to nurse that injury. Despite this, Urnaut has been marching from triumph to triumph. Last year Slovenia won the CEV Volleyball European League by sweeping 12 matches in a row and after that went on to claim a historic silver medal at the European Championship.

“I can say that we had been waiting for this moment to come for a few years, because we knew we had a group of good players, and this we had showed also at junior level, but we somehow seemed to always miss out on our chances,” Urnaut says. “We finally were able to move to the next level after we started working under Andrea Giani. He brought a lot more discipline to the group and more consistency to our game. The EuroVolley was something truly exceptional and now we want to confirm that this result did not come by chance. The silver medal we won in Sofia was a special moment for our country and an unprecedented success. ACH Volley had achieved some good results in the European Cups before, but the national team was never quite able to make it to the very top. Fortunately, this has now changed and we look forward to the 2016 national team season to continue this success story.”

Talking about last year’s success with the national team, the always smiling and extremely friendly Urnaut continues: “I think most of our players profited from the experience they got from playing abroad, and especially in Italy, which has definitely one of the most competitive national leagues in the world. This has proven a great asset but much credit goes to our coach who has turned all this into results. We do respect and esteem Andrea a lot for what he did as a player, for his coaching skills, but especially as a person. Everybody in Slovenia loves him!”  

Urnaut and his teammates have raised the profile of Volleyball to unprecedented heights back home and as a result a number of Slovenian journalists are travelling this weekend to Krakow to follow him and Cebulj as they fight for Europe’s most coveted crown. “The national TV came to Italy earlier this season and produced a special reportage about the match I played against Calzedonia VERONA, which is the team that Andrea [Giani] is leading. We very much hope that more and more people will start following Volleyball and with it the attention from sponsors and media should increase accordingly. We have had some success in basketball and handball in the past, but I think this is now the moment for Volleyball to take centre stage in Slovenia,” Urnaut says.

Questioned about what to expect from Saturday’s semi-final with Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA and the derby with his friend Klemen Cebulj, Urnaut adds: “I think we should be really proud that two players of our national team have made it that far in Europe’s elite competition. This confirms that Slovenia can produce strong players who can perform at the highest level. As for the match with Lube, we know they have an incredibly strong team, with a number of world-class players on their roster and many different options beside their starting six. They are the favourites, at least on paper, but we will be playing with all of our hearts to make it to the final.”

About 150 supporters have travelled from Trento to Krakow to cheer Urnaut & Co. on. They will be heard even though they will compose a very small percentage of the almost 15,000 fans expected to be in attendance on Saturday: “Our fans are really great; you almost feel like you are being accepted into a family. Some talked to me already in Sofia at the EuroVolley finals and were extremely supportive to me even though I still had not played any single match for TRENTINO. And of course, any player could not ask for anything better than to perform before such crowd as the one that will gather this weekend. 15,000 fans will provide us with an incredible boost to do our best,” Urnaut concludes.  

Click here for further information and visit the official website

A live gallery of the competition will be available right here; on social media please use the official competition hashtags #CEVChampionsLeagueM and #CLF4Krakow

News nr. 8343 of 23547
16/04/2016 15:00:00
Walsh/Ross overcome Heidrich/Zumkehr to make Xiamen Open semis
15/04/2016 22:55:00
Volleyball superstar and truly inspirational figure – Ivan Miljkovic
Advanced Search
Open the calendar popup.
Open the calendar popup.
Search for:

Title and navigation
Title and navigation
<<<May 2024><<
May 2024