DAVID, Chiriquí, Panama, September 23, 2023 – Seven national teams eager to claim the gold medal have gathered in this city to compete in the VI AFECAVOL Men’s Under-23 Central American Championship, to be held at La Basita Sports Center.
All the delegations have submitted their documents meeting the requirements of the Control Committee, chaired by Mr. Carlos Enrique Santis, General Secretary of AFECAVOL. They are ready to fight “point by point” to step onto the podium, as their coaches have indicated.
Albert Humes, coach of Belize: “Our expectations are high. Belize is knocking on the door of greatness, of being number one in Central America. Our expectation is to come here and give our best and make our country proud. In fact, we have a fairly young team. We have young players as young as 16, even one who is 15, so most of our players are under 21, some can play in the U19 team and the U17 team. So, we still have a good progression of players for the future greatness of our country”.
Johan Morales, coach of Costa Rica: “We come here with a happy group, very united. We have been working for quite some time, and I believe this is the team I have been able to work with the most because of the time with the boys. We come with young players with a lot of talent and hunger to bring Costa Rica its first gold medal in this category. That’s the goal, to go step by step and steadily. At this age, concentration is crucial, and in the men’s competition, it’s very close, respecting all the opponents, as seen in the Senior Central American Championship”.
Andrea Genova, coach of El Salvador: “We expect to perform well. Our team is not bad; we can fight for a spot on the podium and see if we can get a medal in the competition. We know that everyone has the same goal; it’s a fairly even competition, but some teams stand out more. We will go point by point in each game. It’s the last youth tournament before reaching the senior level, and several athletes are already in the senior national team, which is why the level is very high”.
Reider Lucas, coach of Guatemala: “We want to progress through the event. We know it’s very important because many athletes are part of the senior national teams, and it’s a tournament with a high level in the region. We want our boys to enjoy the competition, continue to develop, and try to achieve the goal match by match, fighting point by point, and having a good competition”.
José Reyes, coach of Honduras: “We have a generation that has had a lot of experience in U19 and U23 tournaments, along with the addition of new young players that we have started to form, with the aspiration of reaching the senior national team. We are happy; we have a renewed group with the desire to do things well, everyone is ready, including the coaching staff, to perform well”.
Jorge Mena, coach of Nicaragua: “We know it’s a tough tournament, and we will try to do our best, but we know that all the teams are strong, and a great tournament awaits us, of a high level. We know our rivals and the level of some countries like Guatemala or Costa Rica, but we are going game by game to see how we can land on the podium and then change the medal, but above all, give our best in each match”.
Eric Lucero, coach of Panama: “We have high expectations, aiming for the podium, as we did years ago. A very good job has been done in forming the national team; we have athletes with good experience in the younger categories. In the U21 category, we managed to get on the podium with a silver medal. We have realized that all the countries in the region are working hard. Volleyball has grown, we have all grown, and we are aiming for the highest level”.
First day, Sunday, September 24
2:00 PM Costa Rica vs. Belize
4:30 PM El Salvador vs. Nicaragua
7:00 PM Opening Ceremony
7:30 PM Panama vs. Honduras