"The dream with the Yellow Tigers is to stunt 1 time at the World Cup and go towards the top 10"

“Five years ago after the elimination for the 2018 World Cup, we set a goal to achieve this World Cup, because we also wanted to have a goal at global level and the Olympic Games were unattainable,” says national coach Gert Vande Broek.

“As 12th in the world ranking – our highest position ever – reaching the second round of the World Cup is the minimum target. We want to confirm our place in the world ranking and finish between 12th and 14th place. The difference between 12th and 14th sometimes depends on some sets more or less and is therefore unpredictable.”

Are the quarterfinals unattainable? “For that we would have to stunt not once, but twice against a top country such as Italy or China. That cannot be a realistic goal. The dream is to stunt once and go towards 10th place in the final standings.”

For that, the Yellow Tigers will have to be there immediately at the World Cup. “The opening match against Puerto Rico is crucial. Puerto Rico is just behind us in the world ranking (18th). It is annoying to have to start against Puerto Rico, because a misstep is difficult to correct.”

With a good result at the World Cup, the Yellow Tigers can flush out the disappointment of relegation from the Volley Nations League. “It was a big disappointment, but we also realize that we were not served by fate.”

“For example, at crucial matches we were ravaged by corona infections and therefore absent players. Another time our luggage arrived with 6 days delay.”

And Vande Broek does not only see disadvantages. “It also has advantages not to play a Nations League next year. You should not underestimate how burdensome that is as a challenger country, which, unlike the large countries, can relegate.”

“In the Nations League you have your back against the wall every match, every match is important for the world ranking. Now we have been able to test a lot in preparation, we can now switch between 3 different systems during the game.”

“Jutta Van de Vyver is the first game distributor, but the other game distributors Eveline Van Sas and Charlotte Krenicky also know their role depending on the system we play. We tried that extensively at the Tournoi de France last week.”

Source: Sporza

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