Busy year is waiting for the Russian champion Kazan. Kazan will play four official tournament together with Club World Championship during this season.
For the first time in the team’s history, Zenit Kazan will play in five official tournaments at the same time. In addition to the Russian championship, Russian Cup and Supercup, Zenit will also play in the Indesit European Champions League and Club World Championship. It will not be easy for Zenit to defend its title as Russian champion, as main rivals Dinamo Moscow and Ural Ufa have become much stronger over the summer. The team will get a taste of just how strong Dinamo is on October 3, when the two teams clash in the Russian Supercup.
Having conquered Russia, Zenit is now aiming to claim the European and world titles. Zenit`s American captain and setter Lloy Ball is optimistic about his team’s chances. "Of the four years I have been playing here, the team we have now is the best. I feel there will be victories. I think Trentino will be our main competitor at the Club World Championship, but the other teams can spring a surprise or two, especially with the new rules (Golden Formula) in play during the tournament,” Ball said.
The Golden Formula, to be trialed for the first time at an FIVB tournament in Doha, requires that the first attack for each team begins from the back row in an attempt to produce longer rallies. Kazan’s coach, Vladimir Alekno, says his players are eager to take on the world’s best teams in Doha this November. “The Club World Championship appeals to us greatly,” Alekno said. “If we were not driven we wouldn’t agree to participate in it. Even our best players, Olympic champions Lloy Ball and Clayton Stanley, are motivated to win the tournament.”