Coaches speak before the start of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, October 2nd, 2022.- Two tickets for the FIVB U21 Men’s World Championship will be up for grabs at the age-group Pan American Cup that begins on Monday at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

During the preliminary inquiries each team delegate was informed that these two spots will be granted to the best two teams of NORCECA since only Chile from the South American Confederation is participating and as per regulations, four teams of each confederation must be participating to compete for one of the spots.

In the meantime, seven out of eight coaches gave their opinion regarding their goals during this tournament. United States was not able to arrive on time due to flight delays and it was determined that their match against Chile will be played on Thursday, October 6th}

On Monday, Dominican Republic faces Mexico in group A, and in group B, Nicaraga-Canada and Cuba-Haiti.

Ben Josephson, Canada: “We worked hard, we are eager to play. We have worked and prepared to qualify for Worlds. My players are college students, but I keep an eye on them and see them play as a team in college. I think that our main opponents are Cuba and the United States. We played two days ago with the locals and won in five sets”.

Jesús Cruz, Cuba: “The preparation has been with ups and down, but we have been able to train and concentrate a group of athletes in this category, some went to the U19 World Championship, others have no competitive experience. That is why we took advantage of the friendly games against Canada and the Dominican Republic. That always helps a lot and more at these ages. Training is not the same as playing infront of a crowd, referees, at the venue and other tensions that competition brings. But we train to win, so we not only aspire to World Championship quota, but also to win the cup”.

Iván Villarreal, Chile: “The first objective of our base teams is to give them a significant amount of competition that allows us to carry them through their development so that they can be part of the main squad. This group is a mix of the under-19 who participated in the Pan American Cup in Guatemala in May and players from the under-21. Our idea is to train them and have previous events prior to attend next year’s U23 Championship. At the South American U21 we finished third, behind Brazil and Argentina (classified), and we are at the waiting room for the World Championship”.

Junior Siecle, Haití: “It is our first Norceca event in which we have participated, but the objective has not changed, they want to do a good job, have a good tournament and to fight for a place in the World Championship. We have various weapons, and they are strengthened by the preparation we have done, but since we don’t know our rivals, we have high expectations of knowing how they will develop”.

Tournament Page

Chile during preliminary inquiry

José Dante Manon, Dominican Republic: “We have a very young team, but I think we are ready for the qualification. We recognize that we will have strong rivals like the United States, Canada and Cuba, who has a tall and tremendously powerful team; that we were able to witness during friendly matches.  Our strength is the attack, it will be our main weapon and we are going to try to develop it and show our cheerful game”.

Jorge Alberto Romero, Mexico: “We come from a three-week preparation at the National Training Center in Mexico City, and we are going to fight for the classification, looking for one of the two Norceca’s Worlds tickets. There are players who played in the U19 World Championship in Egypt; however, it is a recently assembled young team, but with a lot of talent. With all rivals we must have push, since none of them will be weak, but I think that the United States, Canada and Cuba are the teams with most options”.

Jorge Mena, Nicaragua: “The main objective is to compete, to do the best. Also, that it serves as preparation for the U21 Central American Championship to be held in our country from the 16th to the 24th of this month. We are the current champions, but we have rivals like Guatemala and Costa Rica, and any of the three can win. This Cup helps you raise the level a little more to face them. The first time we have a fairly high team and due to its age, it can still improve. We are working to have a good team in the future that later can become the base of the senior team”.