Bulgarian NT for 2010 season

  • Yesterday, Silvano Prandi announced the full squad of players for the upcoming 2010 season. Here is the list:

    Source: www.volleyball.bg (Bulgarian Volleyball Federation)



    Andrey Zhekov (EA Patron, Greece)

    Georgi Bratoev (Levski Siconco Sofia)

    Ivan Stanev (Lukoil Neftochimik Bourgas)

    Dobromir Dimitrov (Pirin Balkanstroy Razlog)


    Vladimir Nikolov (Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo, Italy)

    Tsvetan Sokolov (Itas Diatec Trentino, Italy)

    Boyan Yordanov (EA Patron, Greece)


    Matey Kaziyski (tas Diatec Trentino, Italy)

    Todor Aleksiev (Lokomotiv-Izumrud Ekaterinburg, Russia)

    Metodi Ananiev (Petrochim Bandar Imam Homeyni, Iran)

    Miroslav Gradinarov (Aran Cucine Pineto, Italy)

    Valentin Bratoev (Quasar Massa Versilia, Italy (Serie A2))

    Nikolay Penchev (Pirin Balkanstroy Razlog)

    Alexander Simeonov (Levski Siconco Sofia)


    Viktor Yosifov (M.Roma Volley, Italy (Serie A2))

    Teodor Todorov (CSKA Sofia)

    Hristo Tsvetanov (Lokomotiv-Izumrud Ekaterinburg, Russia)

    Krasimir Gaydarski (SCC Berlin, Germany)

    Nikolay Nikolov (CSKA Sofia)

    Svetoslav Gotsev (Pirin Balkanstroy Razlog)


    Teodor Salparov (Dinamo Moscow, Russia)

    Vladislav Ivanov (Levski Siconco Sofia)

  • There are only a few surprises in the list. Prandi has decided to call up some new young players from the Bulgarian championship, such as three players from the very perspective team of Pirin Balkanstroy Razlog (currently semifinalist in the league play-off phase) - the setter Dimitrov (19), the attacker Penchev (18) and the middle-blocker Gotsev (20), as well as an attacker from the champions of Levski Siconco - Alexander Simeonov (24). They have all impressed in the Bulgarian league this season, especially Nikolay Penchev who is already the highest-scoring player of Pirin Balkanstroy at the age of 18!

    I am very happy to see Boyan Yordanov back in the team, I hope he will be given chance to play again!

    The only name missing is Daniel Milushev (opposite), who spent his season in the Korean league with Korean Air Jumbos, but left because of an injury.

  • I see a problem with the setters, how come for like 6 or more years, accept from Zhekov there isn't another good setter that grew up in Bulgaria, I actually was thiking maybe Konstantin Mitev could be a good back up option, but accept from playing in turkey last season, I don't know where he played or where he is playing now

  • This is to some extent true! After Nikolay Ivanov, Andrey Zhekov came as a setter of our NT and this has been so for some 5-6 years, yes! The truth is that his possible substitutes all play in the national league. There are only 1 or 2 other setters playing abroad, but they are older and play in less competitive leagues. In Bulgaria there are some good young setters but they still haven't made their chance to go and get some experience abroad.. I will give you some names - Ivan Zarev was the Zhekov's substitute in WCH 2006, he is still a young man, but he has undergone a series of surgeries already. Ivan Stanev was a name widely mentioned to be a consistent part of the NT, he won bronze in the Junior WCH in Iran some years ago with Kaziyski, Aleksiev and Milushev, he is even a captain of my hometown team Lukoil Neftochimik Bourgas, but, to be honest, he is not at a top international level! He is just good enough to play in Bulgaria..

    My favourite is Georgi Bratoev, he came from the bench during the last WL in some games, I think he is potentially the best setter we have had recently (except Zhekov). However, he has two main problems - first, he should learn to behave like a grown player, because he still acts foolishly (as a child) in some moments, and secondly, he needs to find a good foreign club as soon as possible if he wants to develop well enough! I am saying so because there are good players in our national championship, most of them between 18 and 21, and our league is full of young players, so Zhekov will not have a proper substitute unless some of these setters (or even new ones like Dobromir Dimitrov who was called up yesterday) manage to get experience abroad...

  • just forgot to answer your question about Mitev - he has shown progress only this season, in January he was transferred in Iran, it's Prandi's decision to leave him out of the squad.. I also think he deserved a call-up, he is still 25, but the coach preferred the younger Dobromir Dimitrov. If I had to decide, I would definitely give Mitev a chance especially after the successful season he had in the national league!

  • Georgi Bratoev is the future - I am sure ;)


    "I'm so proud that the fans still sing my name. But I fear tomorrow they will stop. And I fear it because I love it. And everything you love you fear you will lose" - Eric Cantona

  • Professional analysis of Bulgarian NT in 2008:
    Team in general

    · Team formation – good mixture of older, experienced players (6 > 30 years) and players of medium age (24-26 years); with No 3 Zhekov, they have an outstanding setter who is also positioned very well in scoring elements (block/serve).

    · They prefer playing via outside positions and backcourt pos. 1 – offense mainly rests on the shoulders (> 55 %) of players No 6 Kaziyski and No 11 Nikolov.

    · Few first-tempo attacks and backcourt 6 (Pipe) – predictable distribution of balls – all in all, strengths in scoring elements.


    · Very good capacity to vary jump serves (regarding: power, spin and placing) – 3 players in the ranking list of the best 10 players (Kaziyski, Zhekov and Nikolov)!

    · As a team, they are on position 4 with only 1.04 points a set.


    · Instable reception with high failure rate (>10 %); often, libero No 13 Salparov takes over from 3-player formation in case of a jump serve and also from a 2-player formation in case of a floater.

    Set / Attack Complex 1 and Complex 2

    · Technically skilled and precise setting from No 3 Zhekov for the main attackers Nikolov and Kaziyski – varies the speed of setting to outside positions well – likes playing fast combination backset!

    · Attack in complex I: Predictable distribution of balls is compensated for with precise and variable speed of setting as well as the attackers (Kaziyski and Nikolov) individual quality of playing. First-tempo attacks mostly after perfect reception!

    Attack in complex II: Strong emphasis on outside attack and backcourt attack pos. 4/1 via No 6 Kaziyski and No 11 Nikolov (TOP scorer position 5 and 7)!

    Block / Defence

    · Always maintain their special positions in block; in defence, the middle blocker, like the outside attackers, usually go to pos. 6 during backcourt attack (pipe) – they also vary between libero and outside attackers!

    · Fourth best team with 2.96 avg points by set – setter No 3 Zhekov on position 5 in the ranking list of the best block players (0.7 avg by set).

    · Libero No 13 Salparov with 2.6 avg by set of blocked balls on position 3 in the ranking list of the best diggers – setter No 3 Zhekov (1.7 avg by set) on position 10.


  • Why did u post that? Zhekov now is setting through middle with Yosifov, Prandi talked with Zhekov something and I don't know how, but it really worked! Middle attacks were always out problem.

  • I posted it to make comparison with Stoev's period and to show that specialists consider Zhekov an outstanding player

  • Yes, at European Championship last year one obvious change was that they played middle quick attacks (much) more than before, and, the good news was, the quick attacks were threatening and effective! I've never seen Tsvetanov being in so good shape before. Yosifov also did a decent job in offense. It seems that suddenly their weakest link (MBs) disappeared.

    As for Zhekov, he's described as "outstanding" probably because he is good at categories other than setting: block, serve and defense. For his major role in the team, setting, I'm impressed by his jump set the most - he's probably the player who jump sets the most frequently. This keeps a quick tempo in the team's offense by shortening the time of a set in air. His quick set really improved a lot in the last European Championship. As to his downside, as a captain as well as setter, he needs to hold his nerve at important matches. If he collapses, the team's offensive system will not work and the whole team will collapse with him.

  • Tsvetan Sokolov is now 208 cm and touches at least 360 in attack and 338-340 i block. He and Teodor Todorov who touches 375 and has 350 block are just 20 years old, they have 2-4 years more to increase their jumping abilities and their height. They both need to work more on their technique, too.

  • Sokolov and Todorov are amazing, just have patience with them and they'll start producing prizes for Bulgaria I'm sure of it. I remember how the Dutch youth team always used to hate Sokolov cuz he was what Ganev was to out National senior team int he 80's and 90's: annoyingly good.

    Bulgaria is still going to get their ASSES beat by Holland in the World League though!!! :P

  • Well, I have very high respect for the potential of your team, but I count on our bigger experience of players and coach to take the victories from your hands :lol:

  • Well, I have very high respect for the potential of your team, but I count on our bigger experience of players and coach to take the victories from your hands :lol:

    Yeah you're probably right, but they'll be interesting matches I think. I do think Bulgaria is a little further down the road though.

  • I think Holland will get 1 win, but I hope you can take 1 from Brazil if you want to qualify. We missed big chances last weekened, now we must win every game 3-0 or 3-1.

    Wish and you shall receive :P One win and one loss. I'm a little more hopeful about our matches against you guys next week though!

  • No offense, HellBoy, I really like your team, but I hope Bulgaria will take everything we can from these 4 clashes :)
    Bulgarian junior team will have 21 friendly games before the ECH in Belarus - With Russia, Greece, Spain, France and so on...

  • Today in Bulgarian site there is news that Juantorena can be naturalize and he can play for Bulgaria NT. I hope it is real, because with him will be stronger and Alexiev will be out :obey:

    That's one of the biggest nonsense ever produced by the Bulgarian media! Even if they asked him for real, I'd rather see Bulgarian players in the starting team.. anyway, Juantorena would never do it!

  • That's one of the biggest nonsense ever produced by the Bulgarian media! Even if they asked him for real, I'd rather see Bulgarian players in the starting team.. anyway, Juantorena would never do it!

    Even to become Olympic champion? No one club player is recognized as great one, without success with NT