Ireland will compete in the first ever u22 Men European Championships in May.
The new competition, made up of 24 teams, represents a significant challenge for our young team who could be up against the likes of Russia, Italy & France when the pools and Final hosts are drawn at the end of the month.
National Team Head Coach, Andrei Molnar said, “We are all extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity of representing Ireland on the international stage. The Squads have improved a lot since the initial selection that happened in Loughrea, 2017 where over 150 boys have arrived for trials. Together with assistant coach Ionut Tarmure, we have tried to raise the level gradually from session to session to the selected lads.
Month by month this was possible due to the hard work of these boys who have put hundreds of hours of training for the Squads, Clubs and Schools. Everyone has made serious sacrifices to be able to attend the Squads camps and competitions during the last four years. Despite the COVID problems all the members, players and staff have stayed very active and focused, which was something that was noticed by our international partners as well.”
The u22 Competition is a strategic development from the CEV, with President Aleksandar Boricic commenting, “this move reflects the wish to provide increased opportunities for younger players to compete on the International stage. These tournaments provide players with the opportunity to wear the shirt with pride, whilst testing their skills and learning what it takes to win at the highest level.”
Complementing that, Molnar added, “We are not going to CEV to win medals, we are going there to announce our presence and that we have finally arrived on the high-level international stage. It is going to be hard, extremely hard. But I have true faith that my boys, our boys, are going to make all of us proud.”
To help prepare the team for the event, Volleyball Ireland are looking to arrange a series of challenge matches against high level Men’s teams. If you are interested in a friendly match please contact email@example.com