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17/11/2019 17:00
Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR excited ahead of #CLVolleyW group stage debut
CEV Champions League Volley 2020 - Women

Maribor, Slovenia, November 17, 2019. The preparations for the group stage of the CEV Champions League Volley 2020 started in Maribor long before the Drawing of Lots held in Sofia this past October 25, 2019. “Maribor is a city of sport. We have been trying to bring Volleyball competitions of a high level for years, and finally we have managed to feature in the pool stage of the CEV Champions League. Many years of continuous good results from the national championship have taken us to the point where we can say that the best teams will be able to visit and play in our city,” said Mitja Koželj, director of the reigning Slovenian national champions.

The team experienced some changes from last year. Several players left the club to join new teams, but Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR have managed to bring in some younger players, who can play a leading role in the coming years and will grow through their Champions League experience as well.

There were mixed feelings after the Drawing of Lots. “If I could choose another pool, I would, but what is done is done. I feel very happy for our fans that they will have the opportunity to see in person some major clubs such as VakifBank ISTANBUL, who truly have a stunning resume. This is a unique experience for our players and city itself. We will try to play on our best level, for sure some bigger responsibility lies on players such as Anita Sobočan, Ela Pintar and Nina Stojiliković, who already played several matches in the European Cups before,” says Radovan Gačić, the new head coach of Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR this season.

“I was born in Maribor, I know Volleyball in Maribor very well and I try to bring some fresh energy to the team,” he continues. “Working with young players is always a challenge but our preparations for the upcoming game with Lokomotiv KALININGRAD Region have gone well. We hope to achieve a good result in Russia, but for sure, the first game will show how the team can cope with the best teams of Europe. We have a very busy schedule with the national championship and MEVZA League, so my girls have very hard weeks ahead and we just hope we can show a good level in the coming weeks.”

Anita Sobočan commented on the upcoming game with the Russian #CLVolleyW rookies: “I think we are all very excited to play in this year’s Champions League. We have a very young team, and only a few players have previous experience in the European Cups. It is going to be a very special competition for the whole club and city of Maribor. I think Maribor deserved a place in the CEV Champions League after dominating national competitions for the last few years. We are playing in a tough group, facing some of the best teams in Europe and in the world, but we cannot wait to have the opportunity to play at the highest possible level.”

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