Ireland’s Under 22 Men’s team will play Italy in the qualifying stage of the CEV u22 European Championships.
The Italian giants are the current u21 FIVB World Champions and will host Pool A of the competition with Portugal and Israel also facing the young Irish team.
Men’s programme Head Coach Andrei Molnar said, “What can be more exciting for our first participation in the CEV Championships for this team than going head to head with the strongest team in the World for the U22? We are ready to represent Ireland, and the Irish volleyball community no matter the obstacles.”
VLY General Manager Gary Stewart commented, “So many Italian people contribute to Irish Volleyball as members on the Board, Commissions, Coaching, Playing, Refereeing and throughout the club network so I’m delighted for them that both their nations get to compete. This is a great draw for Ireland and I’m delighted that the lads can challenge themselves against the best in the World. Just saying Italy V Ireland gives me goosebumps”.
The final word goes to Molnar who added, “Victory has many faces, not just the one where you take the title back home: courage, determination, the sacrifices made and such. All of these are victories for any coach, any athlete, any individual, that love and respect volleyball and sports in general. My boys are ready for these tremendous tasks and I have full confidence in all these great lads. Great times are ahead for Irish volleyball and I feel honoured and lucky to be part of them.”
The qualifying tournament will be played over the weekend of May 19-22nd, with the top team in each Pool plus the four best ranked second placed teams qualifying for the Final stage in Poland.