Bulgarian NT 2018

  • After two years of silence, we finally have a thread for the Bulgarian NT again.

    Plamen Konstantinov's full list for the Volleyball Nations League.

    Setters: Georgi Bratoev, Georgi Seganov, Dobromir Dimitrov, Vladimir Stankov
    Opposites: Tsvetan Sokolov, Boyan Yordanov, Nikolay Uchikov, Ventsislav Georgiev, Velizar Chernokozhev
    OHs: Nikolay Penchev, Rozalin Penchev, Todor Skrimov, Valentin Bratoev, Branimir Grozdanov, Dimitar Marinkov, Plamen Shekerdzhiev, Asparuh Asparuhov, Georgi Petrov
    MBs: Viktor Yosifov, Svetoslav Gotsev, Nikolay Nikolov, Teodor Todorov, Alex Grozdanov, Iliya Petkov, Krasimir Georgiev
    Liberos: Teodor Salparov, Vladislav Ivanov, Petar Karakashev

    Obviously, the biggest surprise is the rumoured return of Boyan Yordanov to the NT. Todor Aleksiev is missing, taking some time off after, what he said, an exhausting season with Olympiacos. The incentive to play at home at the WCH is too big a deal for everyone, I am sure Aleksiev will be back and probably that's the reason for Boyan Yordanov and even Uchikov to reconsider their summer plans. The WCH might be the last big NT tournament for some of the older players.

  • I remember Valentin Bratoev has announced his retirement from Bulgarian NT in 2015.
    Therefore, does he go back on what he said?

    My favourite roster of Chinese
    male NT:
    S - Li Run-ming, Zhan Guo-jun
    OP - Dai Qing-yao, Jiang Chuan
    OH - Ji Dao-shuai, Xia Run-tao, Liu Li-bin, Zhang Chen
    MB - Zhang Zhe-jia, Chen Long-hai, Geng Xin
    L - Ren Qi

    female NT:
    S - Ding Xia, Yao Di
    OP - Gong Xiang-yu, Zhang Chang-ning
    OH - Hui Ruo-qi, Zhu Ting, Liu Xiao-tong, Li Jing
    MB - Yuan Xin-yue, Yan Ni, Xu Yun-li
    L - Lin Li

    My avatar is Jiang Chuan. I hope more persons love him.

  • I remember Valentin Bratoev has announced his retirement from Bulgarian NT in 2015.
    Therefore, does he go back on what he said?

    Well, kind of. He and his twin brother talked to Konstantinov before the NT season last year already and both sides made some compromises. Compromises mostly from the Bratoev twins actually. Valentin was already in the wide roster in 2017 but he underwent surgery last year, so he was only theoretically in the NT. This year he might play a bigger role, however, there are better (and in better shape) OHs right now. It is a bit political because you can't have one of the twins in the NT without giving a chance to the other and it is the setter Georgi that Konstantinov would need more. Hence, yes, Valentin is back, all issues are forgotten, or so it seems, but I don't expect Valentin to be used much.

    The other news (apart from the wider availability of opposites this year) from the Bulgarian NT is that Todor Aleksiev will be out for, what it seems, the whole summer, including the WCH. I don't have much information yet, what we know is that he wanted to get some rest and skip the VNL. However, Konstantinov doesn't think a player, especially an older one, who rests all summer will get back in shape for the WCH. Similar was the case with a few players before the ECH last year. This is why it is perhaps the coach's decision not to take into account Aleksiev for the WCH. We'll see how the story unfolds. Nikolay Nikolov, by the way, will also rest for a month at the beginning of the NT season because he arrived in Bulgaria from Belgorod with a shoulder injury.

  • I'm hopeful for R. Penchev. He's had tons of experiences in South America.

    For Bratoev, Are the other setters not as good as him? I think Seganov should've more chances.

    Bulgarian NT is getting really old with this choices too.

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • For Bratoev, Are the other setters not as good as him? I think Seganov should've more chances.

    Bulgarian NT is getting really old with this choices too.

    Unfortunately, none of them is. Bulgaria will be in deep trouble (not that they flourish with him) if Georgi Bratoev isn't available. Even when he is imprecise, out-of-form, and slow, he is still the better option. Seganov is a logical choice N2 in this roster. Although, I have to admit, Seganov improved massively since moving to Sora two years ago, he is still kind of green and a bit immature for the NT. He will be there in the next years, nevertheless, and I hope he will gradually fit in more. Stankov, CSKA's prospect, reminds of Seganov a bit but I think he is a bit more talented. He urgently needs to go abroad if he is to have a NT future. Dobri Dimitrov started his career as an OH if I am not mistaken, certainly not as a setter, even now he hasn't yet quite convinced as a full-time setter playing abroad. The Manchev brothers were an interesting case. Georgi, the elder, became champion with Dobrudzha 2 years ago and reached NT shape for sure but got injured and now no one knows if he still plays competitive volleyball. His younger brother, Nikolay, is still touted as a talent rather than as a regular setter, which is kind of dangerous for his development, and I doubt he will ever come close to the senior NT. So bottom line, Georgi Bratoev is still the guy to go.

    EDIT: I forgot about Chono Penchev. Probably once he starts playing regularly in a serious league somewhere (his 2016-2017 adventure with Iraklis is perhaps the only one relevant in his career), he will be another decent NT candidate.

    Regarding ageing team. Well, apart from USA, which NT isn't ageing? Considering the basic 12 players, of course. Maybe only Russia thanks to the new wave of OHs and MBs. Core players everywhere get experience that is seldom surpassed by youngsters and pure talent. Bulgaria makes no exception.