(photo credit: European Volleyball Confederation)
For the first time in 43 years, the Israeli women’s volleyball team will
part in the final phase of a European competition this weekend.
faces Serbia on Saturday in the semifinals of the 2010 CEV European
four in Ankara, Turkey and will be looking to continue its amazing
recent years against the 2007 European Championship silver medalists.
have no secrets. We just work hard,” said Israel coach Arie Selinger, an
international volleyball legend, who guided the US women’s team to a
medal in the 1984 Olympics and the Dutch men’s side to a silver medal at
1992 Barcelona Games.
“We started from zero and at the moment we
ranked between the 8th and 12th best teams in Europe. We are doing
better than I
expected, but this is just the beginning and I’m more concerned with
will be in three years time.”
Selinger took charge of the team in June
2007, starting what is now known as the Selinger project.
Olympic Committee of Israel, the Israel Volleyball Association and an
donator provided the financing, Selinger selected 22 players and the
training four hours a day, six days a week.
“It’s the first time my team
qualified for the final four of the CEV European League. It’s history
itself, since I was the coach when Israel played in the European
in Turkey in 1967,” said Selinger.
“I have to admit that Serbia, Bulgaria
and Turkey are very strong teams, but we’ll try our best.”