Opponents treat us a equals - Brokking

24 July 2012 / 08:33

Great Britain's men's volleyball team will take to the floor at Earls Court this weekend having finally earned the respect of their opponents, according to coach Harry Brokking.

The Dutchman has masterminded the construction of a GB squad from scratch over the last five years, eventually getting them to a level of respectability after an understandably wobbly start.

And although they have taken a host nation place to be at the Games, there is no longer a sense of them not being their on merit.

The equivalent of a quarter-final finish at last summer's test event earned them new-found admirers and, ahead of their tournament opener with Bulgaria on Sunday, Brokking is confident his men can stand toe to toe with their rivals.

"It was very difficult for us to get into that cycle of bigger teams," he said of the initial struggles.

"They didn't accept us and playing against us would be a waste of time. But the test event allowed us to show what we are capable of and they are starting to realise that in Great Britain, the national team is competitive."

That is in part owing to the devastating form of Dami Bakare.

The 23-year-old outside was the second-highest point scorer across all nations at the test event, and has established himself as Brokking's go-to man.

The former dentistry student is not feeling any pressure, though. "I've heard it a couple of times that I'm the star man," he said.

"We have banter in our team about it, but it doesn't play on my mind that much. I know what I can deliver, there is no pressure on me because I know I can do it."