Before the new season of the Plusliga really kicked off, the supporters in Gdansk witnessed another historic moment for their club. After securing their participation in the 2016 Champions League by winning the Polish Cup and finishing the last season with silver medal of the Plusliga, Lotos Trefl Gdansk added another trophy to the collection. In front of 5.000 volleyball fans, the team of Andrea Anastasi won the Polish Supercup.
Considering the fact that a year ago they were aiming for the 5th position in the national League as the team seasonal goal, the three trophies won within a year will always remain as a historic success in the club.
Before the new season there wasn’t many changes made to the main team. To be totally fair there wasn’t even any spectacular transfers. The club managed to keep all the players who delivered an amazing performance in the last season. Polish nationals Mariusz Mika, Piotr Gacek, Bartosz Gawryszewski, Wojciech Grzyb supported by American Murphy Troy, German Sebastian Schwarz and Italian Marco Falaschi together with the Italian coach Andrea Anastasi, all decided to continue their volleyball journey in Gdansk.
The match of the Super Cup was contested in Poznan Arena, only 2 days before the official start of the new season. – We won’t lie to ourselves because none of the teams are ready to play. The national team players are with us and any other team only for couple of days. – said before the game Andrea Anastasi. – Of course, Resovia is clearly a better team than us. Everybody knows that. They have got bigger bench and two equal teams. But even if we have only 30% chances to win we have to try and take them. – added the italian coach.
His words weren’t remain unheard and technically speaking smaller bench and the same starting team of Lotos, comparing to the last season became their advantage. Resovia played chaotic, while Lotos showed or rather confirmed the real team spirit they built up by playing continuously together the whole previous season. After 1 h Lotos took a lead 2:0 and when it looked like a surprisingly quick game, the team from Rzeszow managed to get their game straight. The game became a show with strong spikes and incredible defences. This therefore led to a quick change of the result. Within another hour 2:0 had become 2:2. The tiebreak was a dramatic end of this clash. Resovia was leading from the beginning, but then the team from Gdansk once again affirmed their power. They stepped up their efforts toward the end, twice stopping the best scorer or the game, Bartosz Kurek ending the game 15:12 and 3:2.
– It feels like we have started the new season from the end. The first official game gave us a trophy, it is truly an amazing opening for us. I have always said that a good start makes the half work done. And we couldn’t dream of a better start of the new season – admitted Anastasi.
Polish national Mateusz Mika received the award for the MVP of the game.
Securing the second position in the polish championship, Lotos for the first time in their history qualified to play in the European Champions League. The draw of lots of this year competition which took place in Vienna at the beginning of July was quite lucky for the polish team.
Lotos Trefl Gdansk found themselves in the same group with Italian Volley Modena, Slovenian ACH Volley Ljubljana and Serbian Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad. – It is a big honour and privilege to play in the European Cups – said the coach Andrea Anastasi during special press conference held in Sopot, regarding the Champions League tournament. – I have never played in the Champions League as a coach so I’m going to make my debut together with the club. – he admitted. – We aren’t the best team in Poland and we have to be honest that chances we have to deliver a great result in the first year of participating are highly limited. But it doesn’t change the fact that we will do our best to show our team in the best possible light in front of the other teams in Europe.
Equally excited about the Champions League competition was the American spiker Murphy Troy. – In my volleyball career in used to play in France and Italy. But I have never had chance to compete in the European Cups. I am sure this is going to be a great experience – he said.
The first historic game in the Champions League, Lotos Trefl Gdansk will play on the 3 of November. They will host the game against Serbian Vojvodina Novi Sad. Two weeks later the polish team will fly to Italy to play against Volley Modena. This year calendar of the polish league as well as the European competitions is quite heavy for any team. – Until the end of this year, within 2 months we have to play 14 games. – We will fight, as much as the human body let us to. – finished Anastasi.
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