Nikola Grbic met the Polish team’s rivals at next year’s European Championship outside the ceremony in Naples. He was just watching her transition The European Volleyball Confederation (CEV). I have been to many of these events. I’d rather not go to Naples, because I know how boring it is in the room – the Serb laughed in an interview with Sport.pl. And after the draw, he can still have a good mood.
Grbic reveals European Championship plan after group stage draw: We have to focus on ourselves
The Poles found a fairly easy group of rivals. It’s definitely one of the easiest combinations at big events in recent years. They will play against the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Montenegro, the Czech Republic and Denmark.
– I will not hide that we can feel like the favorites of this group – Nikola Gerbic comments on the Sport.pl draw. But I think we have to focus on ourselves and not think about our competitors. We have to improve in terms of the quality of our game. If we played at the highest level, we would not have to attach so much importance to who is in front of us – the assessment of the coach of the Polish national team.
“I will not underestimate the Dutch, they always look like a strong team, and it is difficult to play against them. In addition, there are the Czechs, and they knocked the French out of the previous European championships already in the 1/8 finals of the tournament. It was a big surprise, but they looked really good. At that time. We have to watch out for everyone, but not think too much about competitors, only about our game.”
Grbic prefers a World Cup final rematch against Italy. “We have to prove that we are the favourites.”
How does Grbić evaluate the entire draw? The groups are evenly matched. Every strong team has one competitor to watch out for and several to beat if they want to fight for a medal. It seems to me that at the moment there are four favorites for this tournament: Poland, Italy, France and Slovenia. But there is still a long time until the tournament and a lot can change. Maybe someone will surprise? Although I have no idea who it could be yet.
At some point, there was a chance for the Poles to get into the group with the world champions, Italy. This means a replay of the Polish world championship final this year at the start of the battle for gold in Europe. In the end, Poland was drawn into Group C, not into Group A, where Serbia was placed. Honestly, I’d prefer a different scenario. I would like to play against a very strong player right away, in the first moments of the tournament. At the Sydney Olympics, when I won gold, we started off losing to Italy and Russia, and then beat them in the main matches. On the other hand, in the 2002 World Cup, we won back-to-back matches, didn’t lose and every losing set was a huge sensation. and what? We finished without a medal, losing the two most important matches. This has happened so often in my professional career that I prefer this more difficult system for large events – explains Nikola Grbić.
He also agrees with the statement that for Poland a defeat by North Macedonia or Montenegro would be more than a great disappointment. – But it was so from the beginning and it will be so until the end of my work. The goal of this group is to win a medal at the Olympics, and to fight for gold in it Paris. If this is what we aspire to, then we must conquer all. Whether it be in Montenegro, France, Brazilor North Macedonia. We must have the ambition to outperform our competitors while at the same time calibrating ourselves to our work. This is the only way we will achieve success. We’re the favorites on paper, but we have to prove it.
For the European Championship “Second Division”? What about grbic? Next week’s resolutions.
The European Championship comes at a very difficult and somewhat unpleasant moment of the 2023 volleyball season. The Poles will play it as the second big event – after the League of Nations, which is scheduled for June 6-July 23, and before the Olympic qualifying tournament, which takes place from September 30 to October 8. And the last matches – for a trip to Paris in 2024 – are the priority. This has been Grbic’s goal since his debut in Poland.
Therefore, looking at what the volleyball calendar will look like next year, the question arises: will everyone play the European Championships in full force and teams? It would be a shocking move, but who knows, it might not be the right one. On the other hand: it’s a fight for a medal for a great event and it’s a pity to “let it go” even partially. On the other hand, the most important thing is to go to Toys And with it I have much less value. For the qualifying tournament, all the strength and most important players will be needed.
“The Second Division” for me – What does Nikola Grbić think of this solution? We discuss all possible scenarios. He makes clear that decisions should come after my visit to Poland next week. – I do not want to say that something is possible or not, I do not want to provoke a great discussion. But this is of course one of the options and solutions for the upcoming season. Others will think so too. We will find a solution. There is no doubt that the three most important tournaments we have to play are the Olympic Qualifiers. We are working towards it. We also have to do a good job during the Nations League collecting points for the world ranking – coach description.
Already in 2019, the Poles – led by Vital Heinen – were preparing for the Olympic qualifying tournament in two groups. But at that time the calendar looked different: people fought for a ticket to the Olympics earlier than for medals at the European Championships. Heynen “leave” the fight with the strongest squad in the finals of the Nations League, and nevertheless the team won the bronze medal.
Grbic’s Special Visit to Poland. And a lot of work
– However, I do not disdain the European Championship in any way, – Nikola Gerbic notes. “Divide the team into two teams sounds like a good idea, but then you have to find a good rhythm for both of them. Unfortunately, those who will be training for the Olympic qualification alone will not be able to play matches. There will not be much chance of any sparring, and there are no official dates for meetings, And we don’t know what decisions the others will make. Let’s face it: It would be hard to accept that some players will not play at the highest level from the end of the Nations League to the start of the qualifying tournament. It’s more than two months, he noted, too long.
So Grbic will visit Poland next week and hold talks and then discussions to determine the details of organizing the new season. Also how the Poles will organize their forces in the European Championship. – I am planning to make a presentation about the beginning of last year “The Road to Paris” to the Polish Ministry sportsThen visit clubs to watch training and matches and talk to players and coaches. I’ll end it all with a visit to the ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle meeting with PGE Skra in Bełchatów – Nikola Grbić reports.
Next year’s European Men’s Championship is scheduled for August 28-September 16. The group stage matches will be held in Skopje, North Macedonia, and the rest of the tournament is set to take place in Italy. The final will be held in Bologna.
“The uncomfortably humble TV fan. Twitter generalist. Extreme music enthusiast. Internet connoisseur. Social media lover.”