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25/03/2021 10:00
#EuroVolleyU16W qualifier an “oxygen balloon” for Team Portugal
News from the National Federations

Porto, Portugal, March 25, 2021. Rui Pedro Silva announced on Wednesday the names of the 12 players due to represent Portugal at the upcoming qualifier for this year’s #EuroVolleyU16W – which is due to run from March 31 to April 4 in Chiavenna, Italy.

Silva is well aware of the challenges that his team will face, but stresses the motivation of the athletes, as “this competition will be an oxygen balloon for these girls who have been unable to compete for such a long time.”

“Although we stopped our work in the periods when the pandemic reached its peak in Portugal, the return of the working group to training in recent weeks, with schools closed and much time spent without training or competing, allowed us to have all athletes available with good working and safety conditions. We increased the volume of training and the evolution of the athletes has been impressive. That has been the most positive aspect. With a year of COVID-19 in Portugal, this competition will be an oxygen balloon for these girls who have not been able to play any matches for such a long time,” Silva says.

“In terms of results, it is always difficult to set goals because this is a generation of athletes who start now their competitive journey for all of the seven participating countries. Even so, we want, in the first place, to escape from the last place, which has traditionally gone to Portugal and, match by match, try to achieve the best possible ranking. This group has a lower average height than the other teams, but has other arguments that may surprise our opponents. The first match is always important and we have to serve aggressively, consistently and strategically with regard to our opponent’s weaknesses, thus forcing a more predictable offensive game from the Netherlands. If we manage to do so, we can better organise our block / defence / transition attack. On the other hand, we have the ability to play fast so as not to allow a high and organised block of the Dutch athletes. The resources in attack can make a difference to face tall blocks. In addition to these technical-tactical issues, we need a fierce, calm and ambitious group to overcome the challenges that lie ahead,” Silva concludes.

Silva has called the following 12 players to join the journey to Italy: Ema Torres, Maria Peres, Mariana Marques (AJM/FC Porto), Francisca Guedes, Rita Benidio (Boavista FC), Inês Campos, Luna Nunes (Castêlo da Maia GC), Beatriz Cerveira (Leixões SC), Marta Aleixo (Madeira Torres), Maria Leonor Coelho (SC Braga), Matilde Quitério Ferreira (Sintra Vólei), Maria Amaral (VC Viana)

Raquel Portela will be Portugal’s international referee at the event in Chiavenna. The winners of the WEVZA qualifier will make it straight to the final round of #EuroVolleyU16W scheduled for later this summer in Nyiregyhaza (Hungary) and Humenne (Slovakia).

News nr. 64 of 23547
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