Gökhan Gögköz is a little older than the youngsters we usually present in this series, but it is mostly our fault that we did not create an article about him earlier. Regular first-choice player for one of Turkey’s top teams, the outside attacker deserves his place here.

Gögköz, who turned 23 last month, has won Glenn Hoag’s trust and has been one of the two starting outside attackers for Arkas Izmir this season. A lot of great players have performed for the Turkish side over the years and it was a great chance for the youngster to grow and learn not only from them but also near one of the game’s most clever coaches.

Turkey has not yet turned into a volleyball milestone, with female clubs and players attracting much more attention these days. Lots of money and investment are being made in direction male development, however, and local clubs are gradually starting to leave a more durable mark on the European scene. The league recruits some of the best international players and it is an extremely positive sign for Turkish volleyball. The men’s national team is still away from Europe’s elite, but with programs like those in Izmir, Ankara, and Istanbul, results are only a matter of time. And even if Turkey will have a long way to go before reaching the podium at, let’s say, men’s European Championships, junior and youth formations already provide talented players who enjoy court time next to highly paid foreigners in their clubs.

Gökhan Gögköz is a bright offspring of the new Turkish generation. 2015 was a good year for him. Turkey reached the final of FIVB’s U23 World Championship in the United Arab Emirates and eventually returned home with the silver medals. They lost twice to Russia in that tournament, but left behind Brazil and Argentina in the group stage before they knocked out Cuba in the semifinals. Gögköz was one of the team’s star players. Very impressive in attack and from the service line, the outside attacker will still need to improve his reception if he is aiming at climbing new summits with Arkas.

Gökhan Gögköz

Born: January 6, 1993
Nationality: Turkish
Position: Outside attacker
Height: 200 cm
Current club: Arkas Spor Izmir