‘Castle Take on the best in Europe! Sainsbury’s UK School Games Number 48 August 2010
Welcome from the Chair The EuroVolley Cup experience with the u18 boys team provided the club with a real eye-opener on two fronts. The quality of play that we could and should aspire to with our young players, and the level of club development that is possible. How refreshing to be able to play in a tournament with some of the biggest clubs in Europe and even the world, and think that we do a decent job... But that we shouldn’t be satisfied with where we are! Keep enjoying your volleyball and making the most of your opportunities! Colin Roberts NSVC Chair
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Stay in touch with ‘Castle: online The club’s communications strategy (part of the four-year club development plan) is now very well advanced following the launch of our You Tube channel and Wikipedia page in the first few months of 2010. These additions to the existing ‘Castle News, www.nsvc.co.uk and Facebook group give us what is hopefully excellent connectivity to our members through whatever medium they prefer. Soon to come on board is the final piece in the jigsaw for now! Happy browsing! www.nsvc.co.uk The club website gives regular updates of information on both the home and news pages,, team and player profiles, plus carries all club match reports and an up to date club calendar
‘Castle News The club’s unique monthly e-newsletter is now available only as a download through the club website’s news pages at www.nsvc.co.uk/latest-news
Facebook Sign up to ‘Castle at www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=12327566316
Wikipedia The NSVC Wikipedia page was launched in March 2010 and will provide a great historical record of the club and its’ achievements over the past 30 years and the years to come http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcastle_(Staffs)_Volleyball_Club
You Tube Match videos can be posted online at our very own You Tube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/NSVC1
Twitter COMING SOON – NSVC TWITTER FEEDS
News Updates from ‘Castle! Football star backs ‘Castle On the return journey from the EuroVolley Cup the ‘Castle delegation had the ‘pleasure’ of spending 6 hours at Milan airport – more on this later in ‘Castle News – but the one upside was that the team met Chelsea’s goalkeeper Petr Cech! Cech had presumably been in Milan for a medical appointment as he was with a club official – and with the transfer deadline closed surely not a transfer to Milan or Inter..!??! The ‘Castle boys, shy as ever approached Cech straight away and asked him to have a photo with them and their trophy, which he duly did, and Roo Scott even then had time to cheekily tell him that he would always be welcome at Keele if he fancied watching some volleyball!
Sponsored run raises £430.61!! As reported in the August edition of ‘Castle News, junior boys head coach Will Roberts took on the challenge of running the Robin Hood half marathon in Nottingham to raise money for club funds – to directly support the under 18 boys team that was about to head out to Italy for the EuroVolley Cup. Well, we’re pleased to report that not only did Will manage to complete the run (his primary concern!!) but he finished in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 28 seconds ... and raised a fantastic £430.61 for club funds! Thank you to all who sponsored Will for the run. Below you can see some photo highlights from the day (left to right) – pre-race nerves, waiting for the start, putting in s sprint finished, and finally, looking a bit jaded with his medal!
News Updates from ‘Castle! NSVC links with City of Stoke-on-Trent 6th Form College For the past 4 years NSVC has developed a fantastic relationship with City of Stoke-on-Trent College in Fenton, seeing the growth of the Talented Athlete Programme (TAP) at the college to provide three training session per week for players. In 2010-11 we will continue to work closely with the college to further develop this programme which is unique in North Staffordshire, to provide daily opportunities to train through a partnership between club and college. Whilst many ‘Castle Juniors will always opt to attend other colleges, the 6th Form College in Fenton is the only one with this formal link to the club, and is the only place where players will get the chance to train on a daily basis locally.
NSVC links to Uganda The Nyero Rock Painters Volleyball Club is based in Kumi City, eastern Uganda. Formed three years ago, the club claims to be the only one in the country with a 'Children's Academy'. NSVC chair Colin Roberts is in touch with the club, who reported that they had recently competed in the Uganda Christian University Volleyball Open, but their results were not so good we were pooled in group B, of 3 mens clubs where we lost to the other two clubs of Kampala City Council Volleyball Club and Ndejje University Volleyball Club 3:1, 3:1 respectively. The senior team competes in a Regional League called The Eastern Volleyball League (TEVOL), at the moment they are the table leaders with 18 points out of 6 matches.
Junior Boys Head Coach Will Roberts said, “The link with Fenton is fantastic for our young players. I did my ‘A’ Levels there back in 1998-2000 and only wish I’d had the chance to train for volleyball at college as often as they now offer through TAP. It wasn’t until I started my degree at Loughborough that I got anywhere near the quantity of training needed to play at a decent level so I hope that by strengthening the link to Fenton we are able to help our young players progress and keep up to speed with their studies.”
My Perfect team If you would like to nominate your own perfect 6 please do so as soon as possible! Please remember that this is your newsletter so you need to contribute by emailing your selection to Will Roberts on email@example.com Remember, it doesn’t have to be a ‘Castle team but could be from anything you fancy, for example an international team, or best ever NVL side etc!
News Updates from ‘Castle! 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics – Volleyball news Go to watch the action with NSVC! With less than two years to go until the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, members of the club committee have agreed in principle for the club to try to purchase some blocks of seats for matches at the games, for club members. Where better to have a ‘Castle get together than at the top global sporting event?!
If you would be interested in this please email Will Roberts on firstname.lastname@example.org
Have your say on the funding cuts to the GB programme The BBC website is currently running a ‘606’ discussion group regarding the funding cuts that have resulted in the GB Women’s Volleyball and GB Men’s Beach Volleyball Programmes no longer receiving any funding support. Although the teams can still enter the Games in 2012 if they are competing with the right level of credibility, they will no longer receive government or lottery funding to help them train full time and enter the necessary tournaments – so if they are going to do this it will have to be the hard way!
What do you think of this? Put your views forward and make volleyball’s voice heard at http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A74909578
Be Part of the Action as a volunteer: 2012 Games Makers Maybe you want to go one step further than being in the crowd or having your say, maybe you wanrt to be part of the action as a volunteer. The 2012 website is currently full of information on how to get involved in the specific roles. One thing is guaranteed if you do choose to get involved – you’ll have a life-changing experience, so go for it!! http://www.london2012.com/get-involved/volunteer/index.php
Mascots to play Volleyball? As reported by the Volleyball England website, Wenlock and Mandeville, the official London 2012 mascots are learning Olympic & Paralympic sports and need your help. Wenlock, the Olympic mascot is deciding whether to learn Beach Volleyball or Handball, while Mandeville, the Paralympics mascot, is deciding between Sitting Volleyball and Wheelchair Athletics. Visit www.mylondon2012.com/mascots to cast your vote and help them pick the right sports!!
News Updates from ‘Castle! ’Castle shirts abroad! Men’s first team player Adam Bradbury went to the Eindhoven tournament in Holland this summer and was snapped in his ‘Castle training t-shirt as you can see in this photo. Adam was at the tourmament with the Warwick University Volleyballl Club and reportedly had a great time... We’re just not sure whether he’s referring to how well they did on the court!!
If you’ve got a snap of yourself in some ‘Castle kit abroad (and u18 boys team, the Italy trip doesn’t count!!) please send them into to ‘Castle News email@example.com
Make the most of the ‘Castle website! The ‘Castle website www.nsvc.co.uk continues to go from strength to strength with additional content and new for this season for many matches we will have Match highlights to accompany the match reports written by the teams. These videos are embedded through the ‘Castle You Tube channel, which has now had over 1200 viewings of videos!! The most viewed videos are: 1 – LPV 2010 Highlights (208 views) 2 – 30th Anniversary Highlights (189 views) 3 – Goody spiking whilst lying down v Wessex u16 final 2009 (167 views)
’Castle Juniors at the National Academy Congratulations to Meg Viggars, Roo Scott, James Goodwin, Sam Shenton, Iain McKellar and Stewart Ross who are now living and training full time at the new national academy in Loughborough. Paige Nelmes from Wessex is also at the academy and chosen to play NVL and u18 girls for ‘Castle – so welcome Paige!
The 2nd – 5th September saw the fifth Sainsbury's UK School Games take place in the North East of England with the Volleyball competition taking place at the incredibly impressive venue of Sport Central at Northumbria University. Many observers have described this as the best Sainsbury’s UK School Games yet and with a star studded guest list at the Opening Ceremony the event had a very high profile. But the likes of Amy Williams and Jonathan Edwards were overshadowed by the fantastic athletes parade where the volleyball teams really took centre stage. With the full home straight of the track at the Gateshead International Stadium (the same home straight that hosted Asafa Powell’s 100m World record before Usain Bolt came on the scene!!!), the young athletes made the most of the opportunity! And it was the volleyball players who stole the show by coming up with some fantastic skits to get the limelight when the chance arose... The England North boys (including Will Roberts, Sam Shenton, Iain McKellar and Stew Ross) made up a 10-pin bowling skit where Sam was the final pin to fall in a ‘strike’, and the England South girls were the picture of elegance strutting down the home straight with their St George’s cross umbrellas – clearly referring to the downpour the so badly effected the opening ceremony in Wales in 2009! The Games themselves were opened by Olympic skeleton-bob gold medallist Amy Williams and there followed 4 days of fantastic sporting competition for 1600 of the UK’s most talented young sportspeople, across the menu of 10 sports. This year there was again a significant ‘Castle contingent involved (in addition to the loyal supporters!!): 10 players, 1 coach, 1 young official, 1 event staff, 1 statistician - Meg Viggars, Jen Bellamy, Sophie Plant, Liz Stuart (Central Girls) - Roo Scott, James Goodwin (Central Boys) - Will Roberts, Sam Shenton, Iain McKellar, Stew Ross (North Boys) - Ant Viggars – assistant coach to England Central Boys - Zoe Rogers – young official - Charlotte James – Volleyball event staff - Rod Stockwell – statistician Photos Top-Bottom: Amy Williams, Jonathan Edwards, the England South Volleyball Girls parade in style, the break dancers, Ellie Simmonds. Paralympic double gold medallist – the UKSGs most famous and successful alumni to date!
The girls competition was won for the third year in a row by England South, indeed there have only ever been two teams reach the finals – South and North. This year South were the dominant force in the whole competition winning every match they played , including an emphatic win in the final.
Meg Viggars is pictured above playing for Central, who again finished in 4th place, just missing out on a medal and a clean sweep for the English girls. They beat bronze medallists Scotland West 2-1 in a thrilling match, but the 25-23 loss of the second set will live long in the memory of the players as it directly cost them the medal. For the ‘Castle girls, the selection of 4 players was the best we have achieved yet with 3 selections at each of the previous 3 events that have included volleyball in the programme, and they came within 1 win of a silver medal!
P W L
Central would have been amongst the favourites in May, but the loss of 3 ‘Castle players hit them hard – Michal Hawiar declining his selection due to work ,Kacper Stefanowizc missing the selection camp and Alex Liebeck getting injured on the eve of the holding camp. Pos Team
6 6 0
6 5 1
6 4 2
6 4 2
6 2 4
Northern Ireland 6 1 5
6 0 6
In the boys event ‘Castle loyalties were, as always split between the North and Central teams, who had contrasting fortunes in the competition. The North, with Will Roberts as libero (pictured above) were one of the dominant teams throughout the competition and topped the group only to lose to Northern Ireland in the final . There were some controversial circumstances about the North’s defeat to the Irish in the pool stages, and this came back to bite them hard as they did not have the fire power to beat Northern Ireland (who benefited from the recent eligibility of two talented players from Eastern Europe) in the final – the Irish amazingly turning 6th place in 2009 to the gold medal in 2010.
Photos left: highlights from a very sunny Closing Ceremony – Team Xtreme BMX and skateboard show, & band Jimmy Rockitt
2010-11 NSVC fixtures With the 2010-11 fixtures announced and published, weâ€™d like to encourage as many â€˜Castle members as possible to get involved in supporting the senior teams as they all aim for promotion to higher leagues next year. From the off we have a big match night to promote:
27th November The really BIG match day! Keele University 3pm - Ladies v Uni of East Anglia 6pm - Men 1 v SGTV Solent We are looking to get a capacity crowd at both matches so over 120 spectators for each, with balloons, drums, trumpets. Club t-shirts etc etc .... SUPPORT YOUR TEAMS!!
Full NSVC NVL fixture list Date
Sat 2 Oct 2010 Sat 2 Oct 2010 Sat 9 Oct 2010 Sun 10 Oct 2010 Sun 10 Oct 2010 Sat 23 Oct 2010 Sun 24 Oct 2010 Sun 24 Oct 2010 Sat 30 Oct 2010 Sat 30 Oct 2010 Sun 7 Nov 2010 Sat 20 Nov 2010 Sat 20 Nov 2010 Sat 27 Nov 2010 Sat 27 Nov 2010 Sun 28 Nov 2010 Sat 11 Dec 2010 Sun 12 Dec 2010 Sat 15 Jan 2011 Sat 22 Jan 2011 Sat 22 Jan 2011 Sun 23 Jan 2011 Sat 29 Jan 2011 Sun 30 Jan 2011 Sun 30 Jan 2011 Sun 6 Feb 2011 Sun 6 Feb 2011 Sat 19 Feb 2011 Sun 20 Feb 2011 Sun 27 Feb 2011 Wed 2 Mar 2011 Sun 6 Mar 2011 Sun 20 Mar 2011 Sat 26 Mar 2011 Sat 26 Mar 2011 Sat 2 Apr 2011 Sun 3 Apr 2011 Sat 9 Apr 2011 Sat 9 Apr 2011
M1 W2N M1 M1 W2N M1 M3N W2N M1 W2N M3N M1 W2N M1 W2N M3N M1 W2N W2N M1 W2N M3N M1 M3N W2N M3N W2N M1 W2N M3N M1 W2N M3N M1 W2N M1 W2N M1 W2N
NSVC NSVC Richmond London Lynx 2 NSVC NSVC NSVC Leicester NSVC NSVC Lboro Lions Cambridge Brentwood NSVC NSVC Haughton London Knights Telford Ladies NSVC NSVC NSVC Wigan Wessex NSVC 2 Uni of Bham 2 NSVC 2 Cambridge NSVC Lboro Students Nham Rockets Uni of Bham NSVC N’pton Sparks NSVC NSVC SGTV Solent UEA Norwich NSVC NSVC
Wessex Uni of Birmingham 2 NSVC NSVC Lboro Students London Lynx 2 Kingsthorpe NSVC Uni of Birmingham Cambridge Northampton Sparks NSVC NSVC SGTV Solent UEA Norwich Kingsthorpe NSVC NSVC Sheffield Leicester Northampton Haughton Darlington NSVC Haughton Darlington NSVC Loughborough Lions NSVC Richmond NSVC NSVC 2 NSVC Leicester NSVC 2 Cambridge Brentwood Ladies NSVC NSVC London Knights Telford Ladies
Nham Rockets I
NSVC 2 N’pton Sparks Wigan
Nham Rockets I
Match Start 18:00 15:00 17:30 14:00 15:00 18:00 11:00 11:45 18:00 15:00 11:30 16:30 14:30 18:00 15:00 11:30 13:30 12:00 18:00 18:00 15:00 11:30 14:30 11:00 14:00 11:00 14:30 18:00 tbc 12:00 19:30 15:00 11:30 18:00 15:00 14:30 11:30 18:00 15:00
Keele Keele Kingston Arena Whitechapel SC Madeley High School Keele Madeley High School Nuffield Health Keele Keele Limehurst High School Manor Comm College Sawyers College Keele Keele Educ Village, Darlington Peckham Academy Phoenix Sports Centre Madeley High School Madeley High School Madeley High School Robin Park Arena Carter CC Madeley High School Camp Hill School Madeley High School Manor Comm College Keele tbc Southglade Camp Hill School Madeley High School Lings Forum LC Keele Keele Itchen College UEA Sports Park Keele Keele
‘Castle take on the best in Europe The 15-20th September saw a vital chapter in the history of Newcastle (Staffs) Volleyball Club and in English Junior Volleyball as our u18 boys team competed in the Euro Volley Cup – the first ever club competition for junior boys at European level. ‘Castle even had the honour of playing the inaugural match of this Championship against the hosts, Italian outfit Materdomini – and Michal Hawiar scored the first ever point in this competition. All the talk at the event was that this will become an annual competition with increasing levels of CEV involvement, and that next year there would also be a girls event. From the perspective of a club that had to get their act together to get to the event this year, the key thing would be for this to be confirmed asap. This would help with organising the trip, but also add phenomenal motivation to teams in the National u18 competition. For ‘Castle the journey to Italy was a long one... rising at 3am on Wednesday 15th the squad travelled to Heathrow in 4 cars (eternal thanks to Martin Roberts who drove down and back to then go to work for the day!). At Heathrow the boys looked lively (see photo top left!), but with their first flight delayed at Heathrow things started to get a little tense. Once on the plane things relaxed and the excitement built (Adam Bradbury (left) shows this quite nicely!!), and the team could take in the views of the Alps if they were looking out of the windows. They arrived in Milan only 20 mins before their connection was due to leave. .. Roman Neveykin had had to fly out to Milan on an earlier plane due to booking problems and had spent the previous night in a hotel at Heathrow – never before has he been so pleased to see his team mates as the photo below clearly shows! At Milan Airport the newspapers and TV screens were full of Volleyball as Italy was about to host the senior World Championships for men and women – this was a much welcomed cultural difference with the UK! The famous sports newspaper ‘ Gazzetta Dello Sport” carried a full page piece on the world champs which referenced the EuroVolley Cup – indirect fame for Castle!! Once in Bari the temperature was around 28C and the lads were pleased to be on a nicely air conditioned coach to take them to the hotel.
The lads then had a couple of hours in the hotel to relax, and given the length of their day to that point were feeling pretty hungry – so the coaching team’s food supplies were conclusively raided! The evening was the ‘opening ceremony’ of the event, which ‘Castle were transported to at 6.30pm... It eventually started at 7.30pm and then disappointedly consisted of 11 back to back speeches in Italian – no video clips or anything about the actual teams or venues. The speeches were all translated through earpieces but sadly this did not make them any more entertaining for the athletes... in the UK we are probably more used to more athlete centred events – certainly something to look at for the future. The Opening Ceremony saw the unveiling of the very impressive trophy (above centre), and lots of use of the nice branding (above right) – by the way, Will Roberts would like to point out that Roo Scott is stood on a step on this photo! The coach transport home from the ceremony was quite delayed and the teams got back for their evening meals at 9pm – the same time as the technical meeting so Will Roberts had to sit in this (a further 4 speeches, confirmation of rules, departure times, player eligibility etc) so missed the start of dinner and its’ hilarious events! Being a particularly cultured bunch from North Staffordshire and also incredibly hungry and tired from an exceptionally long day, the ‘Castle team were clearly a little confused when large bowls of ‘tomato soup’ were deposited onto the tables. With all of the other teams sitting patiently ‘Castle decided to tuck in, with no spoons available they used the bread and even their forks. The waiting on staff looked a little confused when Colin Roberts asked for a spoon, and then James Goodwin made the now famous comment that the soup ‘tastes a bit like pasta sauce’!! Even with James culinary insight (clearly comes from growing up in a restaurant!), the team ploughed on, and only when they were on the verge of finishing their bowls of ‘soup’ did the pasta arrive!!! All trips need some sort of incident like this to really bring the squad together and everyone had a great laugh about it, but realise they definitely needed a good night’s sleep! ‘Castle were due on first, against the hosts Materdomini who had come third in the Italian Championship with a match start of 9am. This meant coach pick-up at 8am which of course was the equivalent of 7am UK time. The team diligently came down for breakfast in good time and then sat in the hotel lounge waiting for the transport... and the clock started ticking. With no tournament staff at the hotel or English speakers on reception things were looking desperate as the time reached 8.20am! As you can see from the photo on he right, key players Goody and Roo were getting particularly stressed out by the lateness of the transport! Finally, transport arrived at 8.25am and the organisers generously put the start time of the game back by 15 minutes. ‘Castle first match was the first match of the entire tournament and took place at the sports hall of the local school in Castellana Grotte. With spectator seating for around 100, sunken posts, the volleyball court painted in like a taraflex floor and the only other lines marked being basketball it was unlike the average school sports hall in England! The ‘Castle lads set about getting themselves warmed up and ready for the game. The Italians looked big and strong, but as they peppered and got into the warm-up it didn’t look like their ball control was any better than ‘Castle’s.
The ‘Castle team started well against Materdomini, trading side-outs very well, but as the set went on the confidence and comfort of the Italians with their game grew. The first set went 25-14 to the hosts and coach Will Roberts shuffled the pack for the second, shifting Adam Bradbury into the opposite role to replace Michal Hawiar and bringing in Iain McKellar into the middle. Adam added some much needed bite and power to the ‘Castle attack and the second set finished 25-19. Materdomini clearly saw that English team could play and kept their starting team in place, with their setter and primary passer-hitter the stars of the team playing the whole match. The third set saw a great ‘Castle performance as they dug in and fought for everything – most of all they fought for their quality of performance and did an excellent job, just missing out on taking the set with a 26-24 reverse. This 3-0 defeat meant that they had to play again straight away against the Albanian team Tirana who were rumoured to actually be the national team of Albania. This team clearly thought the English would be weak as they didn’t come to watch the first match, and boy did they pay for it! ‘Castle raced away at the start of the match, hitting the Albanians hard from all angles, passing particularly impressively to create great tempo in their attack. The first set went the way of ‘Castle 25-12 (!!!) and they then took the second comfortably to go 2-0 up. A drop in concentration saw Tirana take the third set – an important lesson for the ‘Castle players about playing at this level, and they responded very well to take the fourth in good style and win the match 3-1. Materdomini beat the Albanians later in the day to confirm that ‘Castle had finished 2 nd in their opening round group!
The honour nobody wanted – Dunce of the Day! Whilst in the world of road cycling the yellow jersey is something that all competitors aim for, the ‘Castle trip to the EuroVolley Cup was a different story as it became the symbol of the ‘Dunce of the Day.’ As a result of libero Will Roberts’s reluctance to wear the top on court (clash with hair colour!) the shirt took on a certain mystique and it was decided that as a bit of fun one player each day would be nominated by the coaching team for the ‘honour’. Those players are shown below and are, left to right – Iain McKellar, Roo Scott, and Roman Neveykin... ask the lads what they did to get the honour!!
Photos – the arena for Day 2, just the community sports centre in a small town!! Left – the lads ‘scout the Turkey v Slovakia match; far left the lads line up for a photo on the back row; 2nd down – the Slovakians warm-up; locked up – the lads wait for the venue to open in the blistering heat; celebrities – presentations to the regional u13 champions! The ‘Castle team approached day two with a mixture of hope and trepidation. Having played so well on day 1 they felt confident in their own ability, but looking at the other results the Slovakians of Trencin and their 2m 6cm tall 15 year old in the middle (!!) looked pretty invincible, and the Turkish team Arkas has been in a really tough group so finishing bottom with two 3-0 defeats was no disgrace. First up ‘Castle had the opportunity to watch their opponents – and quite simply Trencin ripped the Turks apart playing some very fast, very powerful volleyball with some truly frightening blocking!! The number 4, Milan Lizala looked like a real star player – expect to see him in the major European leagues in years to come, and he led by example from start to finish. The venue was a brand new sports facility in a small neighbouring town, Sammichele di Bari – 600 seats and a truly massive arena – nobody could even dig the ball high enough for it to touch the roof! Club chair Colin Roberts was chatting to the interpreter (who used to live in Ealing where London Polonia VC are based and was not aware of any volleyball in England!!) who explained that the Italian banks had to reinvest a % of profits into local authorities who then had to build community facilities with the money. In this case the sports hall was built – for use by the town’s volleyball and handball teams. The taraflex floor you can see in the photos was not laid for the event, it is permanent! The teams then went back to the hotel for lunch – for the second day running ‘Castle had the misfortune to play back-to-back matches – some reward for finishing 2nd in the group! When they got back to the venue the gates were locked – no surprise to the ‘Castle players who were by now used to these mishaps in organisation, so they got in the shade from the hot sun and played a quick game of foot cricket! Then it was the match against Arkas – the Turks clearly thought it was going to be a walkover and warmed up with real arrogance, nonchalantly going through the motions of their warm-up. So, they looked shell-shocked when ‘Castle raced into a 4 point lead which they held for most of the first set before finally succumbing and losing out. ‘Castle then had set point in the 2nd set but could not convert and ultimately went down to a disappointing 3-0 defeat after playing some excellent volleyball. The players knew that the only way they could get into the coveted top 6 positions was by beating tournament favourites Trencin. Despite some great middle play by Dann Williams (check out his post match interview on You Tube) ‘Castle went down to a 3-0 defeat. The only highlight (above having played some great volleyball) was the number of autographs the players had to sign, and for Roo. Roman and Rashad – presenting awards to the Italian stars of the future – the boys regional u13 champions.
The ‘Castle Squad: Back Row (L-R) Dann Williams, Roman Neveykin (on his tiptoes!!), Rashad Ali, Adam Bradbury, Iain McKellar, Roo Scott Front Row (L-R) Stew Ross, Michal Hawiar, James Goodwin, Will Roberts, Jordan Adelburgh, Andy Saward
Match day 3 saw ‘Castle back at the school in Castellana Grotte, to take on Tirana again, and the Portuguese team Sporting Lisbon/Benfica. First up ‘Castle weren’t playing so the coaches went to scout whilst the players rested up – again they would face back to back matches (aaaargh!!!). The Tirana main hitter was wondering around the court for the whole match looking like he didn’t want to be there and that he had a quite badly injured biceps on his hitting arm. Depsite this the Albanian team won the first set, but the Portuguese were team on the up and they fought back to take the match 3-1 with the Albanians get the biggest telling off of all time by their extended coaching team (which included some official from their federation!!!). The Albanians looked like broken people at lunch, but all of a sudden in the warm-up the main hitter was full of energy and no longer inured!!! Very strange! ‘Castle could not turn leads into wins and lost very disappointingly 3-0. Coach Will Roberts told his team that nothing other than a 3-0 win over the Portuguese would do, and they responded with great heart turning in an awesome performance – headlined by Adam Bradbury and Rashad Ali who were awesome at the net both blocking and attacking wise. Captain Roo Scott and coach Will Roberts were then interviewed by Italian TV with Roo commenting afterwards that he enjoyed it because the interpreter made up for any mistakes he made!!
On Sunday the 19th, Day 4 – ‘Castle had no games after missing out on the top 6 places, and after a leisurely start went to the finals venues to watch the end of the 3/4 play-off – Materdomini vs Trencin. Trencin had somehow managed to lose against Arkas on day 3 and found themselves playing for 3rd place. The Slovakians won this match 3-2, coming back from 2-0 down to disappoint the 750 or so home town fans (who drumming and singing was amazing!!). Then it was the final: Delic-Pol Norwid vs Arkas. After the Turks upset the odds by taking the first set the Polish team Norwid fought back hard and won the game 3-1 at a canter. The ‘Castle team were disappointed not to have had the chance to play either of the Italian giants Lube or Trentino, but reflected on their performances against the teams that finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
NSVC MVP for the tournament: Rashad Ali Results: NSVC v Materdomini 0-3 NSVC v Tirana 3-1 NSVC v Arkas 0-3 NSVC v Trencin 0-3 NSVC v Tirana 0-3 NSVC v Sporting Lisbon/Benfica 3-0
Wrestling – apparently a key element to post match relaxation!!!
The cake especially made for the teams The ‘Castle lads play ‘ninja’ at Milan airport- Petr Cech was very impressed....
Right – the ‘Castle lads with Benfica and Trencin after a post-final trip to the beach... No photos available of the lads diving in off the cliffs!!
Final placings: 1 - Delic-Pol Nowid (Poland) 2 - Arkas (Turkey) 3 - Trencin (Slovakia) 4 - Materdomini (Italy) 5 - Trentino Volley (Italy) 6 - Lube Banca Marche - Macerata (Italy) 7 - Tirana (Albania) 8 - NEWCASTLE (STAFFS) (England) 9 - Sporting Lisbon/Benfica (Portugal) Official event website: www.eurovolleycup.eu
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‘Castle Hoodie £20.00
‘Castle Polo Shirt £10.00
‘Castle Drawstring Bag £5.00
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