Bulgarian Men's NT 2019

  • Silvano Prandi announced his wide roster for the 2019 season.


    Setters: Georgi Bratoev (Neftochimik 2010), Georgi Seganov (Maliye Milli Piyango), Chono Penchev (Marek Union-Ivkoni), Vladimir Stankov (CSKA)

    Opposites: Tsvetan Sokolov (Cucine Lube Civitanova), Nikolay Uchikov (Neftochimik 2010), Velizar Chernokozhev (Dobrudzha 07), Radoslav Parapunov (Hawaii University / CSKA)

    OHs: Nikolay Penchev (ONICO Warszawa), Valentin Bratoev (JTEKT Stings), Todor Skrimov (Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia), Rozalin Penchev (SESC), Todor Aleksiev (Olympiacos), Martin Atanasov (Chaumont), Plamen Shekerdzhiev (CSKA), Georgi Petrov (Neftochimik 2010), Asparuh Asparuhov (Montana), Gordan Lyutskanov (Levski)

    MBs: Viktor Yosifov (Vero Volley Monza), Nikolay Nikolov (Sporting Lisbon), Svetoslav Gotsev (Dinamo-LO), Teodor Todorov (Neftochimik 2010), Krasimir Georgiev (Rennes), Alex Grozdanov (Greenyard Maaseik), Nikolay Kolev (Cherno more)

    Liberos: Teodor Salparov (Neftochimik 2010), Vladislav Ivanov, Martin Ivanov (Neftochimik 2010), Petar Karakashev (Hebar), Ivaylo Lalov (Levski)

  • The Bulgarian volleyball has started a new, second period with Errea as a technical partner. The first one started and ended with Stoychev's tenure as NT coach. He usually works gladly with the Italian sportswear company, now a series of internal decisions by the federation (clearly a game of personal interests) resulted in ending the supply from Asics.


    Here's how the 2019 outfits look like (source: dnevnik.bg):


    zx860_3906317.jpg

  • The 2019 VNL 25-man squad:


    Setters: Georgi Bratoev (Neftochimik 2010), Georgi Seganov (Maliye Milli Piyango), Chono Penchev (Marek Union-Ivkoni), Vladimir Stankov (CSKA)

    Opposites: Tsvetan Sokolov (Cucine Lube Civitanova), Nikolay Uchikov (Neftochimik 2010), Velizar Chernokozhev (Dobrudzha 07), Radoslav Parapunov (Hawaii University / CSKA)

    OHs: Nikolay Penchev (ONICO Warszawa), Valentin Bratoev (JTEKT Stings), Todor Skrimov (Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia), Rozalin Penchev (SESC), Martin Atanasov (Chaumont), Plamen Shekerdzhiev (CSKA)

    MBs: Viktor Yosifov (Vero Volley Monza), Nikolay Nikolov (Sporting Lisbon), Svetoslav Gotsev (Dinamo-LO), Teodor Todorov (Neftochimik 2010), Krasimir Georgiev (Rennes), Alex Grozdanov (Greenyard Maaseik), Nikolay Kolev (Cherno more)

    Liberos: Teodor Salparov (Neftochimik 2010), Vladislav Ivanov, Martin Ivanov (Neftochimik 2010), Petar Karakashev (Hebar)


    4 OHs and a libero have been dropped out. These are Todor Aleksiev, Georgi Petrov, Asparuh Asparuhov, Gordan Lyutskanov, and Ivaylo Lalov.

  • Polish newspaper reported that Silviano Prandi removed 6 players from NT, these names are: Bratoev brothers, Nikolay Uchikov, Vlasidlav Ivanov, Nikolay Nikolov and Teodor Todorov. Reason were bad relations between coach and players.

  • Polish newspaper reported that Silviano Prandi removed 6 players from NT, these names are: Bratoev brothers, Nikolay Uchikov, Vlasidlav Ivanov, Nikolay Nikolov and Teodor Todorov. Reason were bad relations between coach and players.

    That was the initial information, correct. However, Teodor Todorov is in the wide list of players Prandi will practice with and choose from for the Olympic qualifer. The list:


    S: Seganov, Stankov, D. Dimitrov

    OPP: Sokolov, Parapunov, Kadankov

    OH: Skrimov, N. Penchev, R. Penchev, Atanasov, Shekerdzhiev, G. Petrov

    MB: Yosifov, Gotsev, Todorov, A. Grozdanov, Georgiev

    L: Salparov, M. Ivanov, Karakashev


    Prandi knows best what the form and the motivation of his players are, hence I trust his judgement. He has introduced some important players to the NT during his previous tenure (Sokolov and Yosifov, for instance), or retired those he didn't need (Konstantinov). I know that his vision is not just the qualifier in Varna but also the next 1-2 seasons. A squad rejuvenation is not the worst idea ever. However, Seganov alone is clearly not enough, Bulgaria will struggle on that position. Nikolov might've helped, too, although his constant injuries could've created trouble. Obviously, Prandi needs 3 new faces to test more intensively during the next month. Petrov doesn't have enough experience and will surely be cut off. Dimitrov was never a great setter, so his selection is a slight surprise (I hope he gets cut off, too). And we arrive to the greatest surprise of the year for the NT - Kadankov. Why the hell Prandi called up the useless, long-forgotten freaking Kadankov?!? A guy who never was a decent volleyball player. The only reason is for Prandi to test him, but why Kadankov? Not that he has a chance of replacing Parapunov, but still...


    The reasons for the decision to cut the more experienced ones are said to be purely sports-technical. I don't think there are issues inside the team.

  • Hi YavorD , just curious, after the defeat against Brazil in Olympic qualies, what's the main consensus of the fans and players in Bulgaria? I was really rooting for them, but Brazil really had the experience in those critical moments. Too bad for Sokolov, I think this was his last shot at the Olympics as I don't see him in NT for 2024.

  • Hi YavorD , just curious, after the defeat against Brazil in Olympic qualies, what's the main consensus of the fans and players in Bulgaria? I was really rooting for them, but Brazil really had the experience in those critical moments. Too bad for Sokolov, I think this was his last shot at the Olympics as I don't see him in NT for 2024.

    It was a painful defeat and everyone knows beating Brazil was the only chance for Bulgaria to reach the Olympics. It is clear Bulgaria has close to 0 chances of winning the January qualifier for a variety of reasons. Fans reacted differently to the defeat. Some were understandably disappointed, to say the least. Some were quite happy with the progress shown. Some welcomed the performance of the younger generation under the guidance of a well-prepared coach. People demonstrated a mixture of feelings and it is normal in such situation. Very little came from the players in the media, they will surely regret missing the golden chance, throwing away months of work almost in vain, and will play this match again set by set many times in their heads. This might affect their confidence at the ECH, preparation should start soon. The only thing everyone hopes for is Skrimov's fast recovery. Latest news reports that he has nothing broken, although his ECH participation is threatened.


    As for me, I was sure Prandi would've done his homework and the team would use the momentum in Varna. Honestly, I questioned Brazil's motivation for the match, given that their eventual South American qualifier would be a joke. Brazil didn't even show 10% in the first 2 sets, hence I didn't know whether they would fight at all. Well, 3 sets later we knew the answer. They just hadn't really been there, whereas Bulgaria had a lot of elements functioning well enough. Skrimov's injury disrupted Bulgaria's rhythm. Yes, Bulgaria still won the second set and even if Rozalin Penchev had a few decent moments, Skrimov's absence unbalanced the squad and his contribution in reception, attack, and serve was dearly missed. True, Brazil smelled blood and insecurity from the third set on. However, I would still question Bulgaria's place at the Olympics had they won the match anyways. What the Federation and the governement have been trying to do isn't going to help Bulgarian volleyball in the long run. Paying to organize tournaments and qualifiers is a way to mask the problems for them. Let's face it, right now Bulgaria wouldn't stand many chances against many teams in a different or neutral country, hence paying to organize an event and therefore expecting the crowd to add what the team lacks is some sick way to still claim Bulgaria might be up there with the rest. This is what also most people, fans, and pundits define as the main problem, thus not giving it more importance that it deserves - we'll just miss another Olympics.


    See, to me, Serbia missing the Olympics would be a bigger problem for the world of volleyball, although Serbia really didn't impress in Bari. Whereas Bulgaria showed signs of life under Prandi who needs some more time.


    Sokolov would be 34 at the end of the next Olympic cycle, so I won't say he won't have another shot yet.