This is now the correct thread for the 2019 season.
Bulgaria is such a mess Libero is non-existent.
I only watched bits of the match (and the highlights later on), so I don't know which of the two liberos you were referring to. The starter, Vladislav Ivanov, who had been left to train with the smaller group while the rest of the team travelled, hadn't played competitive volleyball since the conflict with Konstantinov. He's been without a contract for a year, hence, although he may have been Bulgaria's best libero then, the surprise that he even started. You can't play competitive volleyball immediately when you practically had a year off. No wonder he did poorly and had to be taken out. About his sub, Petar Karakashev. I don't know how he did yesterday, to be honest, but he showed some great defence in previous matches and has potential to develop more.
From the little I saw, it seemed like a very entertaining match. Australia looked more compact due to the time this specific group spent together already. I really liked Dosanjh, a very modern setter. Sokolov should quickly switch to playing rhythm again, it wasn't that long ago when he won all the finals with Lube and seemed in form. Atanasov started the match pretty well but was taken out, perhaps he also needs time. 2 other things I noticed. First, very little interest in Varna. The hall wasn't quite full even for the national team... I hope they sell more tickets at least for the Italy match (don't know what the prices are, to be honest). I hope the attendance in Plovdiv in the last weekend will be better, the men's NT has (almost?, no idea) never played in Plovdiv before. Second, some terrible referee's decisions and wrong video checks... And I didn't watch the entire match.
The only thing I could watch to a certain extent was Portugal's match in Gondomar. Portugal are doing what they can and they did great against a confused Chinese team. Pity because with a normal coach this group of Chinese could've been a more serious threat. Although I still don't see Portugal taking more points than Australia for now, the sympathetic Portuguese played with heart and already left their mark in the competition. And thanks to the commentator, there is something new I learned last night! I had no idea Alex and Marco Ferreira are brothers! Ferreira is a common name in Portugal and I didn't know those two are actually related. Which might, after all, perhaps explain why Marco, the current captain and star player's brother, has been the starting choice over Valdir, for instance, for all these years.
Georgi Seganov (Bulgarian NT, setter, 26-year-old, 198 cm, Maliye Milli Piyango) joins Halkbank Ankara. Dmitrii Bahov (Moldovan NT, OH, 29-year-old, 197 cm, Tokat Belediye Plevne) also signed with Halkbank.
Russia roster ? Bulgaria and france?
S: G. Bratoev, Seganov
OPP: Sokolov, Uchikov
OHs: Atanasov, Skrimov, N. Penchev, R. Penchev
MBs: Gotsev, Todorov, A. Grozdanov, Georgiev
L: V.Ivanov, Karakashev
4 changes. Tsvetan Sokolov (OPP), Vladislav Ivanov (L), Martin Atanasov (OH), and Teodor Todorov (MB) have joined the team.
Im just saying i'll be pretty pissed if i'm Australia right now.
France is in no way shorthanded and they need not to experiment like most of the teams in this league. They chose not to play their best line-up possible even if they're available.
If they wanted to win that game, they can easily replace underperforming players. Corre is the back-up of the back-up setter. And Louati is like what? Their 6th OH?
Replace Corre with Brizard and you will get the very same line-up that won the match against Poland. But when they win it is totally alright, correct? Corre was not the problem for France at all. As a matter of fact, France possible underestimated Bulgaria, having taken the 2-0 advantage. Which doesn't mean they let Bulgaria win! Yes, Tillie could've played with Brizard, Boyer, and Lyneel in the tie-break, but what guarantees the result would've been any different? The line-up he has used during the past 2 weeks shows that, no matter if you will acknowledge it or not, Tillie is also experimenting with his options, while giving some key players the chance to rest. Yet, we still had Le Goff, Boyer, and Grebennikov on court today, showing France had taken the game seriously.
Why should Australia have a problem with the outcome of the match? They are yet to play against the allegedly weaker opponents and they will get their points. If there is something to blame, that would be the ridiculous schedule, sending teams on numerous airports and continents, or the formula itself. But mostly, these professional teams (should) only blame themselves for the chances missed. Like Australia losing to Serbia's C or D squad. Or not taking advantage against USA in Poland last week, for instance. Blaming it, completely unrightfully, on Tillie's France is really ridiculous, as I said.
yeah, yavor, you're just the god of volleyball. i forgot that.
What you also forgot is that France are the real gods of volleyball! They only lose when they decide to, they cannot be beaten otherwise! They can only lose when they play with a B or C team. Or in the worst case, just to screw over Portugal (or anyone else), we know that Portugal would've otherwise stayed in the league.
yavor, your statement is pathetic. POR the weakest team by far, and they still beat BUL...
In a totally friendly-like atmosphere, Portugal beat part of Bulgaria's second team. Big deal! Bulgaria beat Canada, does it mean Bulgaria are the best team because Canada have also beaten everyone until now? Wait, alarm FIVB immediately! Canada lost to Bulgaria on purpose, thus giving them chances to stay in the league!!! Because they will be eliminated otherwise!
Nothing else is pathetic but yours and that French guy's comment above. This is just gold!
they played with a B team... POR is probably pissed right now.
Yeah, I am sure Portugal are pissed because Bulgaria's youngsters beat France, not because Portugal are by far the weakest team in the Nations League.
Guys, don't be pathetic losers. Bulgaria beat fair and square France in a friendly match, just what most of the matches in the tournament so far are.
im pissed at Laurent Tillie.
I have this feeling that they gave this game to Bulgaria
If i'm one of the challenger teams. I'll ask my federation to look into this.
Yes, because that's the only way for France to lose a game, right? And what will their respective federations find?! Teams playing with B and C squads all over the world, experimenting and losing sets, points, and matches here and there. This statement is ridiculous.
Bulgaria's moustache trend is appalling! Almost as appalling is Georgi Bratoev's outfit, he plays with two totally different shoes. Had never seen anything like it before. Bulgaria lost that first set all by themselves, following 2-3 really stupid mistakes when they could've been in charge. But the Chinese are playing better so far, that's for sure.
Also, I never understood why the net touch fault was given when clearly no one from the Bulgarian block touched the net in the middle of the set. Even the video check proved it.
Thanks for the clarification! I don't want to take sides here or point fingers, yet no one should tolerate such open hatred towards anything, be it a team, a player, or even more a whole nation. It is a perfect excuse for the player and the federation to avoid trouble by allowing him to conveniently stay home instead of raising hell and taking him to Iran. This seems more as a prevention rather than a punishment or reprimand. Let me remind you that James Watson, Nobel Prize-winning DNA scientist, was stripped of honour, his titles, and the award itself, following his racist remarks. I am really curious how the Polish Federation or at least Vital Heynen will handle the issue after the "suspension" expires. I believe, Kubiak should be likewise stripped of his captaincy, for a team captain represents Poland.
The tournament will be held in the period 18 - 27 July.
Poland are the defending U21 world champions.
Kubiak is suspended for the next 6 matches of Polish NT. This suspension is result of his last interview and words said about Iranian players.
This penalty is embracing actually. He didn’t plan to play until last VNL tournament in Lipsk, so he will have 9 matches break.
Suspended by the Polish Federation or by FIVB?
Did Bulgaria seriously just lose to Portugal? lol
When you play the way they did last night, you normally lose And quite deservedly so! Congrats to a very sympathetic and motivated Portuguese team that took full advantage of Bulgaria's dizziness/laziness! By the way, this is their first-ever win against Bulgaria! Portugal showed some of their best volleyball ever and were significantly better than in the previous days. Two main differences could be seen in comparison to the two defeats, apart from the better game organization and mood overall which were the end effects - Marco Ferreira's performance and Caique's contribution. The former is a very athletic but risky opposite who has barely delivered with the NT jersey. He plays more powerful volleyball but has failed on so many occasions that I have wondered for years how come he is still the first choice at the expense of an overall better Valdir Sequeira. However, Ferreira enjoyed one of his best nights as a starting Portuguese opposite. He made his usual mistakes, of course, yet his contribution was visible at last. The other very needed change was Caique, a not really tall, young, or remarkable OH who played very smart, demonstrated experience and helped with the reception tasks. Although they weren't quite challenged this time. I like Lourenco Martins, he is not a bad player, but Caique provided the balance Portugal needed. Alex Ferreira didn't feel alone anymore, he was given thus more freedom and he literally did whatever he wanted at times.
What irritated me in the Bulgarian team wasn't the defeat that much but rather some of the rotations. Ok, Prandi is clearly still experimenting with the roster, that's the purpose of the tournament, providing that they eventually keep their place for the next season. But this weakened Canada and then Portugal were probably the only opportunities for him to test younger players. Instead, Uchikov played all the time, even yesterday when things were going bad and a defeat/a run of problems could've been somewhat foreseen, Chernokozhev stayed on the bench the entire time. Let's not even mention that Parapunov, after his great season in the US college championship, probably won't be tested at all. I doubt that Chernokozhev or any other new face will be used in the remaining games which will be way more difficult and perhaps important for the team's presence, especially the two weekends at home. Rozalin Penchev didn't have a good game, although I understand that resting Skrimov and V. Bratoev makes sense. Seganov was very bad, too, another setter could've be taken with the team and G. Bratoev could've been saved for the next long trip. Good that at least Krasi Georgiev stayed on the field, his needs more time and confidence in the NT after a solid season in France. Nikolay Kolev is obviously someone who will only travel as a tourist this summer in order for him to see how things are done. That's what I didn't enjoy. Prandi could've certainly rotated the squad more or brought 1-2 new faces, the same way Italy, USA, Germany, and Serbia used theirs.
I'm happy for Portugal I was quite surprised how well they played today. I actually expected them to win some games, but I never predicted they'd win against Bulgaria Sadly, I feel like Australia is going to be the worst challenger team. Too bad, as they really made some progress, and even after this weekend, they deserved more than just 1 point.
Hmm, I don't agree. Australia is not a bad team. Even if they lost 3 matches, they fought hard in those and could've been more lucky. Also, they faced tough opponents in the likes of Poland, Brazil, and USA. Their program will be easier from now on and they will start picking points. Portugal are still the ones in danger.
I also had to intervene when you guys mentioned the experiment with Ma'a. They tried something similar with Daniel McDonell already last year when he was converted from MB to OH. Well, it wasn't really a tactical trick but I guess they just have a bunch of universal players. Ma'a played quite normally as OH and didn't do bad at all. Although obivously, apart from the second set when he scored 6 points, he wasn't trusted that much by the setter Tuaniga and was there mostly for the service and the reception. Still, I didn't know Ma'a is a universal player. This is not common in modern volleyball and impressed me a lot.
Last, jumping in to the lefties topic, I think Australia might be the NT with most left-handed players (ever?). 3 left-handed opposites available to choose from and an OH like Walker. Williams is still much more aggressive, in my opinion, than Stockton and Carroll, thus offering more to the Australian game, but it is still arduous to bring much different tactics when you replace one left-handed opposite with another (despite Williams's slightly different profile).
i heard that in BUL, there's not a lot of family names... so there's a lot of people with same surnames. in the women's NT, there's about 5 dimitrovas...
Well, there are many family names in Bulgaria, still there are 6-7 which are really popular. As you correctly pointed out, Dimitrov(a) probably tops that list, directly after should come Ivanov(a), Georgiev(a), Petrov(a), Stoyanov(a), etc. No surprise there are many players with said surname
An entertaining practice match between Canada and Bulgaria. In the end, the team with more A-team players won. After only 2 friendlies, Silvano Prandi's Bulgaria plays more organized and pleasant to watch volleyball than in 99% of Konstantinov's matches, his predecessor that is. I hope the trend continues. I guess no matter what they do they would still be able to keep their position for the VNL next season, so I would really like to see all players compete in the NT jersey. Like Alex Grozdanov tonight. It is amazing how fast he developed from a Junior NT member, to a champion in Dobrudzha's golden season, to a bench player in Grbic's Verona, and to a now key figure in Greenyard Maaseik's champion season and a regular NT candidate.
It was also great to see Vernon-Evans back in play, he had some nice attacks. Brett Walsh did fine, he should challenge Jay Blankenau for the back-up position (don't know anything about TJ Sanders, I hope he comes back soon). What I don't understand is why Hoag keeps insisting on Marshall as a libero. It wasn't really a successful stint at the WCH last year, his performance tonight was devastating. Overall, Canada demonstrated a practice mode, I hope they show more in the weeks to come.
According to FIVB's official stats, almost 6.000 in attendance at the USA-BRA game in spodek. http://www.fivb.org/vis2009/getdocument.asmx?no=256206793. Also according to FIVB, 420 fans in attendance at FRA-SRB game during 2nd group stage match in Varna at 2018 the World Championship. http://www.fivb.org/vis2009/getdocument.asmx?no=256119950
Personally, I don't think it's ONLY Bulgaria, but horrible attendance at both 2018 World Championship and 2015 European Championship, especially at the games played in Varna, is simply a fact.
You have to include half of Katowice's population in order to reach that number. These sheets are not always accurate. Similar is the situation right now in Mendoza in Argentina. Similar (way worse than in Varna) was Frankfurt during a 2012 World League weekend (I was in the hall), or at the 2001 ECH in the Czech Republic (just came to my mind). I agree about general attendance in Varna/Bulgaria but there are other problems, too, lack of interest is not that big. That's not even my point, I mean that there is much more to a great organizer than pure attendance. And an empty hall once in a while doesn't change that impression, be it Bulgaria, Argentina, Germany, Czech Rep., or just anyone.
I know it's a long topic, we've had that discussion before.
The OH position is really a problem for NT. When the ball is out of system, it's difficult for Reichert and Sossenheimer to kill it. Also, they are a bit too short. Fromm's attacking is better, but his reception is not good at all. I don't know if there are other young and promising OHs.
Don't forget they might still use Kaliberda who is not a bad option, regardless of his fitness at the moment. At a serious tournament, this German team will look and perform differently. Sossenheimer is a typical Friedrichshafen attacker, meaning that the guy needs a ball close to the net, even tight to the net is acceptable, in order to tip. Reichert is someone with more potential and attacking prowess but he was absent due to injuries and still recovering (as far as I know). He has been given more court time lately both in Berlin and with the NT now, probably giving him to time to come back in form quicker.
As for other talented OHs, let's not forget Moritz Karlitzek who should be with the NT soon. Tim Peter is an interesting player with some potential, he is yet to make his name heard both in the NT and the Bundesliga. No idea about Ruben Schott's current condition/form.
Has Adam Kocian joined NT? How is his level?
He is in the wide roster, yes, probably training with the rest in Germany these days. He is also young and showed some talent in Frankfurt. However, as a setter myself, I have remarks. First and most importantly, his physique is kind of boy-ish. He needs to grow up, literally speaking. Personally, I liked more Herrsching's Johannes Tille, Ferdinand's brother, and expected him in the wide roster of the NT instead. There's still time for both of them to make it, though.