After the "unseen" 3-0 against the Faroe Islands: "Volleyball unfortunately goes after football"

After the "unseen" 3-0 against the Faroe Islands: "Volleyball unfortunately goes after football"

The Red Dragons started their European Championship qualifying campaign with a logical victory: 3-0 against the Faroe Islands, the difference in level was staggering. Commentator Marc Willems was there. “Compare it with a Belgian team at provincial level, it is nothing.” At the same time, he warns for Estonia, the next opponent. “Not a top country, but with many experienced players.”

Belgium had already finished with the Faroe Islands after just over an hour of play. “Normally a match that ends in 3-0 takes an hour and a half,” Marc Willems knows. “But if you only make 7 and 9 points in the 1st and 3rd set, then it goes very quickly of course. I don’t think I saw a match that ended so quickly.”

There used to be a separate tournament for “the little ones” like the Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, San Marino, … . They played among themselves for a ticket or for promotion. But that system has changed.

“I fear because of the bad example of football, where all those countries also participate in “normal” qualifications. But in football, the Faroe Islands could still lie in front of the goal with eleven and winning could still become difficult. If not, the best team always wins there.”

“But the federation is going after football, with a European Championship now also with 24 countries, a development that I do not welcome. A match like yesterday makes no sense to anyone, and I think it is economically and ecologically irresponsible.”

A match like yesterday makes no sense to anyone, and I find it economically and ecologically irresponsible.

Marc Willems

Experienced Estonians vs Young Dragons

The system is like this now, unfortunately according to Willems, but the other opponent in the group will certainly not be an easy task. “Estonia may not be a top country like France or Poland. But at the beginning of this summer in the European Golden League, Belgium lost twice, with 3-1 and 0-3, so there’s no chance.”

Belgium then did it with a young team and missed a lot of experienced players. “But that group is now about the same, only Thomas Rousseaux has joined,” emphasizes Willems.

Strongholders such as Deroo and Valkiers are missing due to injury, others such as Stijn D’Hulst want rest so that they can start the competition fresh. “That young group certainly has talent, but now comes against an Estonia with a lot of experienced players. That will be a tough job.”

“I also understand that national coach Emanuele Zanini is not happy with all those cancellations. He came here because he saw potential and assumed there was a mix of experienced men and young talents. But that mix is ​​not there now.”

I understand that national coach Emanuele Zanini is not happy with all those cancellations.

Marc Willems

No EC? Catastrophe!

The circumstances are therefore not optimal, but getting the European Championship is a must for Willems. The 7 group winners and the 5 best runners-up can go to that European championship.

“That should be the only goal this summer, to reach the European Championship. If 24 go to the European Championship and you are not there, that would be a catastrophe! Even with this young group.”

The results against Estonia will determine a lot: two heavy losses against that country and qualification as one of the best runners-up is at stake. Moreover, those matches are not all at the same time.

“It could therefore be that other countries know what to do to continue, because they already know the result of Belgium. They could reach an agreement. That system is not correct, it is an unhealthy situation.”

So hope for good results against Estonia so that the Dragons will be there next summer. “Then they can start with a clean slate and form a good team with the seniors.”

Source: Sporza

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