devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

Last day at Asian Men’s Champs

Posted by devo on October 5, 2009

asian men logo 09vta smallOn the last day of the Asian Men’s Volleyball Championships today, Australia will play Chinese Taipei in the playoff for 7th position

UPDATE: Australia defeated Chinese Taipei 3-0 to finish 7th ~ read the VTAM match reports

UPDATE: In the medal games Iran vs Japan 1-3 (25-19, 18-25, 23-25, 22-25) for the gold medal. Korea def China 3-1 for the bronze medal. results/placings/MVP’s ~ video of the gold medal match at 6pm AESST on bet365

Previous results for Australia at Asian Championships – other teams

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4th 4th 6th 11th 10th 4th 6th 5th 3rd 2nd 2nd 4th 8th 1st

34 Responses to “Last day at Asian Men’s Champs”

  1. markleb said

    I wasn’t there, but I seem to recall that the 2003 result was not top four. My recollection is that we only barely qualified for the Olympic Qualification tournament, and 4th seems high to be a qualification cutoff. I could be wrong.
    Luke? Roy?

    • nathan said

      2003 Australia finished 4th. 4th Was the qualification cut off because Japan finished outside the top 4 that tournament.

  2. Patriot said

    I notice no one is talking about the 7th place finish. I suspect that is because no one wants to be unpatriotic.

    So here goes…….

    7th is disappointing.

    And before anyone talks about how many players are missing (I know that – i read it in every match report), shouldn’t we at least be discussing how this result reveals a huge lack of depth?

    • devo said

      @ “Patriot”

      I suspect that any team that was missing 4 of their starting six, and had their 2 starting centres and libero (and setter?) resign in recent times, would reveal a “huge lack of depth”.

      The real discussion is how much depth this tournament will help to create for the next round in 2 years time.

      The controversy, if you are looking for one, is why the fivb are not ensuring that the “international season” is protected. Or, if you are in to conspiracy theories, why the AVC places its matches at a time that most depletes Australia’s chances.

      • Patriot said

        I agree Devo. Perhaps the question I’m asking is, with a program that’s been going for 9 years, why do we have to field a team that’s so young and inexperienced?

      • markleb said

        As much as I love conspiracy theories, and I happen to suspect this one is true, it is also true that the African Championships were on at the same time as Asians and Norceca championships doesn’t even start until this weekend. So in this case at least it is not only Asians/Australians who are affected.
        This depletes National Teams who release their players and club teams who don’t. Basically noone wins, least of all the players who are caught in the middle.

    • Jack said

      Hey patriot – what do you mean disappointing?
      7th is a great result from our bench team.

  3. al said

    Come on let’s be honest here, this result is a disaster for Australian Volleyball and the Men’s Program.

    We were the defending champs and for whatever reason/s (yes I’ve heard/read them all before) we couldn’t field a team that had a chance to medal.

    I try to show interest in the Men’s National Team but sometimes it’s just too hard.

    I hope the whole squad come together in two years time and get a result the program deserves.

    • Steve said

      How is it a disaster? We blooded a bunch of new players which can only strengthen the squad.

      It isn’t like there was a huge media fueled uproar about this result, and it is easily explained to the ASC/AIS.

      This experience can only improve the overall squad and result in better results in more public events such as World Championships and Olympics / Olympic qualifying. As I understand it results in those two events are really what drive our funding so everything in between should be seen as cyclical preparation for those two events.

      • al said

        I hope you are right Steve.

        My view is that not qualifying for Beijing was a major blow to the program. I hate to think what would have happened if they didn’t have the win at Asians in 2007 to fall back on.

        I would imagine it is hard to argue for continued funding for a program that is not supported by its senior players at a major tournament.

        Let’s hope the experience gained by the younger guys will lead to Olympic Qualification for London. I’ll still be cheering the guys on either way.

        • markleb said

          It is NOT correct that the senior players don’t support the program.
          The model is a development/professional model. The program doesn’t work without the professional component and sometimes there are unavoidable clashes.

          • devo said

            In fact, without the clubs providing the bread and butter, there would be no program. The clubs enable our players to continue to play volleyball. In fact, it could be argued that our players owe more allegiance to their club, than to VTAM.

            • markleb said

              That argument could certainly be made, but I wouldn’t make it. Both sides of the program are equally necessary for its ultimate success.

              • Nathan said

                As for the ‘senior players’ not supporting our team. This is so far off the mark it is not funny. I for example have played close to 200 games in a row for the NT without missing 1 game over a 5 year period. Choosing not to go to Asians this year was one of the harder decisions I have made in my Volleyball career and was not made lightly. I 100% believe that having a good start in my club this year will help me bring much more to the national team in subsequent years.
                It’s also interesting that 4 of the ‘senior’ players missing from Asians were aged 21, 22, 23 & 23. These players have already played 5 years with the national team at such a young age. What we also don’t want is players of this calibre retiring at 26 due to workload of club/NT commitments before we can get the best out of them!! Sometimes something has to give. And 90% of the time it’s the pro-clubs that suffer. This time unfortunately it was the NT. But we will be back stronger next year.

                • al said

                  Obviously I didn’t choose the best words to get my point across so I’ll apologise to Nathan and the other National Team members now. I wasn’t for a second questioning your work ethic or commitment to volleyball. I follow with great interest your results for the national team and your club, and will continue to do so.

                  For legitimate reasons you guys were unable to commit to the national team to defend the Asian Champs, as a result we came 7th. I hope this does not affect how the National Program is funded in the future.

                  Nathan, I think it is awesome you are playing in Italy this season and you made the right decision for you to miss Asians (not that you need me to tell you that). Anyway, good luck for the season.

  4. Murph said

    Question is, are we better off as a program by winning that event this year, or fielding a younger, developing team and coming 7th?

  5. Patriot said

    Thanks for a great discussion – maybe it is possible to critically discuss the national team without being accused of being unpatriotic!?

    A couple of comments though:

    1 – blooding a new group of players can not ONLY strengthen the squad. It MAY strengthen the squad but there are many many (many) other possible outcomes. The assumption that experience can ONLY improve players/teams has been consistently proven wrong since people started keeping score.

    2 – there isn’t a media-fuelled uproar about the result, this a good point. But imagine if we were talking about Rugby? Would there be an uproar? I think so. Perhaps there isn’t an uproar not because there shouldn’t be, but because not enough people care?

    3 – Steve is right in that Asians isn’t as important as World Championships or Olympics, particularly with the issues relating to player availability. Another example is that the #1 Men’s beach volleyball team won the last Asian Championship event they played in, but that isn’t, nor should it be, how their performance is evaluated.

    • Steve said

      Not sure what those other outcomes are Patriot, and let’s remember we are talking about the squad and not players/teams (which you moved the discussion to). The squad as a whole is better for having more internationally experienced players as it gives the coaches an idea about who can handle the next level. If 10 guys consistently see the court over a four year period and then suddenly a number of them are injured just before a major tournament then you are left relying on inexperienced/untested players. This to me is far worse than not having the core guys play every tournament and instead using the second tier but still high level competitions to test the players that want to get into that core team. It also keeps the pressure on the experienced guys to keep improving.

      Fact is we aren’t talking about Rugby so the analogy does not work. Whether more people should care how we do in second tier tournaments is another discussion altogether, though for the hell of it assume Australia had lost the Champions Trophy. Would people have really cared compared to the loss of the Ashes or if we do badly in the World Cup? Not so much I expect.

  6. edbinnie said

    Let’s put it this way – we love to win and we hate to lose.
    It’s been said, but compare the team list that won in 2007 to this year’s team.
    Only Young and Grant are returning.
    And the team that qualified for Worlds (that still lost to China, albeit a dead rubber) – missing 4 major hitters. You take out 4 top players from any ranked team, and you would very quickly see a slide in results, no matter the depth.

    Take a look at the USA results this year – come back from World League and Olympics with Gold in 2008, and are struggling in World League etc in 2009. New Players, players resting, players unavailable due to injury or contract obligations.

    Without a doubt this AUS team is young and inexperienced. That is the problem with having the develop and export programme. We will develop youngsters, and those that make it overseas will continue to play for AUS, and those that don’t get on with their lives outside volleyball. Given the scheduling, the very top tier that we’ve invested in developing and make it overseas can’t play due to clashes.

    What would VTAM as a programme (or us as the volleyball public) have gained from having all the WCQ players in the team. We probably would have medalled. What would that medal get anyone?

    Realistically for the programme, there are 2 things that matter – World Champs and Olympics (and let’s be real here too – at this stage it’s only about qualifying!). So the qualifying procedures/tournaments for them are the key. Outside of that, results are just gravy. Yes team morale etc is important, and wins definitely add to that. The guys missing will be training and playing in more intense environments in the lead up to 2010 World Champs in their pro leagues.

    And for the guys that played at Asians, they get to keep in touch with top tier volleyball. Some of these guys will come back, and the best they will get is AVL games. That’s not much preparation for them to take over in a few years time in Olympic and World Champs Qualifying Tournaments. And next time, if they get to start (because of injury, retirement, or improved performance) they won’t be overawed by the experience.

    I’d have loved to see the guys win at Asians this year, but I’d rather we qualify for London in 2012.

    • Marie said

      “Only Grant and Young are returning.” Add Ferguson and check the photos on the AVF site for the 2007 Asian Championships for No.13 – features a few times.
      Also the experience gained by the younger players in international competition can only assist longer term goals.

  7. curiosity killed the cat said

    USA struggling in world league 2009? If winning a pool with Italy, Netherlands and China in it is struggling, sign me up.

  8. edbinnie said

    Marie – apologies for the error – was Ferguson added late due to an injury to another player (I think I recall something like that now that you mention it). He wasn’t on the team list that I was looking at – the joy of looking through 2 year old websites

    curiosity killed the cat – not medalling (6th place in fact) in World League is an underperformance for the defending champ, and reigning Olympic Gold medal team. Its not too dissimilar from Australia at 2009 Asians vs 2007 Asians – hence my point.

    Nathan – I think there is a huge proportion of the volleyball public that wouldn’t question yours or other’s commitment to the programme. I’d say that we’re all pretty excited, knowing what is potentially around the corner given the age of the team, and the level that you guys are playing at. Unfortunately there are so few opportunities for us to see VTAM in action, that we pin our hopes on the few major tournaments we get to see. I said before that I thought you made the right call, along with the other guys – just can’t wait to see you guys in Italy in 2010!

  9. Tony said

    It is a shame that the general volleyball public ( i am talking about those that live outside of the ACT) rarely get the opportunity to watch the VTAM play live. Does it really cost that much to get the team around to the centers to play? I am sure the general volleyball public would love to just see a game which was VTAM Probables vs VTAM Possibles etc. I understand it does cost money to bring teams into AUS to play but we seem to be able to send our team all over the world to play! Why is it that it appears anytime a team comes here it is always played in the ACT? it was great to see AUS play ARG in MELB last year but when will we get a similar chance to see them play there???

  10. edbinnie said

    Tony – I’m there with you on getting to see the games, but the other side of things is that every dollar counts to VTAM.
    Having the games outside of ACT costs money, and that could be better spent on tours to other International teams.
    It all goes back to Public Relations for AVF, and potential to make money from this, which could then go fund to more things. Merchandising, ticket sales, the opportunities are there.
    I’ve raised it in the past with former CEO Andrew Scotford, and I’ll bring it up again – I’d be more that happy to spend $100-$150 to get a VTAM replica game shirt – Hardy, or Carroll or (too late on this I fear) de Salvo. I have a wallabies jersey, soceroos, waratahs, and about a dozen other bits a pieces. I have plenty of Volleyball Australia stuff, but let’s be honest, you look like a tournament official in that kit. I know I’m not the only one. And I know the uniforms are different for each major tournament. That’s why I have 3 wallabies strips. I’m a passionate fan, and I love to wear my team colours.

    • markleb said

      It’s not only the AVF (or the national team) deciding about teams coming to Australia. There is no reason for teams (at least national teams) to come. It is far away, it costs a lot of money, and they only play Australia (as in only a single opponent). European teams can drive to matches, play tournaments against multiple opponents, pick and choose exactly which level they want to play at whichever moment in their preparation and it is cost friendly (certainly relatively). Exactly the same reason that Australia spends most of the summer in Europe. Even if Australia picked up all the costs, it wouldn’t be a really attractive proposition. Unless there was a big tournament, like the Olympics for example, coming up.
      Replica shirts would be a great idea though. I can imagine quite a few being sold at Schools Cup. Now, that could be a money spinner…

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