GB volleyball future looking bright
July 24, 2012 15:51 pm
Volleyball is set to flourish in Great Britain beyond the Olympics, according to men's coach Harry Brokking.
The Dutch tactician was entrusted with starting an elite training programme in the wake of London winning the Games in 2005, and has spent the last five years preparing a squad for what is its maiden Olympics.
His hard work will come to fruition on Sunday when his players meet Bulgaria, but questions still remain in some quarters about what will happen beyond August.
The squad have got by on minimal funding and, with no competitive domestic league in the home countries, players have been forced to head to Europe and beyond to play their volleyball.
However, Brokking believes that the age of his squad - only veteran Jason Haldane is older than 30 - means there will be a long-lasting legacy.
"At the moment we are playing for GB and its legacy and we realise that our results and the way we present ourselves is important for the future of GB volleyball," he said.
"Everything is good to continue, we are sure we will both as the sport and as GB, I think we have a bright future. We have lots of players at the right age; Twenty-two, 23, 25, and then some experienced players with young players behind them."
Brokking, who has Olympic experience dating back to his time working with the Dutch squad at Seoul in 1988, is also predicting that positive performances will lead his players to bigger clubs on the continent.
Currently, only Mark McGivern (Avignon), plays for what is considered to be a leading side, but Brokking feels that offers will come in for his players if they stand up to be counted at Earls Court.
"This is a big, big platform for the players to show themselves," he said. "Europe is a very big continent for volleyball and in turn Great Britain. The big nations will not look yet for players from Great Britain but, if some of our players impress against Italy, then next season they will be in Italy. That's how it works."
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