devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

team of the year

Posted by markleb on January 8, 2010

The French sports newspaper has just named in volleyball ‘Team of the Year’.  The team is based on performances in both club and international volleyball for the last twelve months.  The journalists involved seem to have rated most highly the performances Trento in winning the European Champions League, Piacenza in winning the Italian Championships and Poland in winning the European Championships.

The team is:

Setter – Nikola Grbic (Serbia, Trento, Cuneo)

Opposite – Leandro Vissotto (Brazil, Trento)

Receivers – Matey Kaziyski (Bulgaria, Trento), Bartosz Kurek (Poland, Belchatow)

Middle Blockers – Daniel Plinski (Poland, Belchatow), Novica Bjelica (Serbia, Piacenza)

Libero – Sergio (Brazil, Piacenza)

Coach – Radostin Stoytchev (Bulgaria, Trento)

Honourable Mentions where given to –

Setter – Bruno (Brazil)

Opposite – Ivan Miljkovic (Serbia, Olympiakos)

Receivers – Leonell Marshall (Cuba, Piacenza), Stephane Antiga (France, Belchatow)

Middle Blocker – Lukas Saatkamp (Brazil)

Libero – Hubert Henno (France, Pineto, Cuneo)

If I were so inclined I might personally add Marco Meoni and Lloy Ball (who won championships in Italy and Russia respectively) to the setters list, Clay Stanley (who won with Ball in Kazan) to the opposites list, Hristo Zlatanov (who had a monster season in Italy) to the receivers list.  They might not have been so active with national teams during the last international season but are all great players near the peak of their games.

I couldn’t find the original article to link to, but click here to see where I read it.

10 Responses to “team of the year”

  1. ScottL said

    Definatly agree with Ball and Stanley… They had a massive season over in Russia, and the backed it up with a solid result in the champions league.

    What happened to Maxim Mikhaylov? Just after Beijing, all the press about the big guy just sort of stopped.

    • markleb said

      The biggest problem with Mikhaylov is that he doesn’t play for a big club. His team is somewhere near the bottom of the playoffs and doesn’t play in European competitions. Also being in a team that choked a 13-9 fifth set lead in the European Championships semifinals probably didn’t help his cause.
      I flicked on to see some champions league this evening and realised I should have included Pawel Zagumny in my setter’s list. He did do anything at club level, but his play at European Championships for Poland was exceptional.

  2. Volleyball Athlete said

    I agree with you on Marco Meoni. Having seen him set he’s an inspiration. I saw him play in Bejeing in 2008 (although it was very limited) and with what court time I saw him play, he changed the match!

  3. Andrew said

    After watching the Grand Champion’s cup on Foxtel recently, if I were to make my fantasy team, it would include Giba and Murilo. They’re just too good. Seeing Brazil basically monster Poland (in admittedly only one match) was quite impressive. However I wasn’t that impressed with Vissotto, maybe he didn’t play well at that tournament. I’d agree with Lukas’ honourable mention.

    Meoni is obviously a great setter, but how come he’s been out of the Italian national team for so long? I guess the answer is that they’re italians and they don’t necessarily do things that make sense.

    On Zlatanov he’s never really lived up to the potential for me. With the caveat that all I have seen are international games.

    • markleb said

      The Grand Champions Cup isn’t really a high level tournament, no matter what the FIVB would have you believe. Once Brazil beat Cuba on the first day the tournament was effectively over as Poland brought none of their stars and not even most the team that surprisingly won European Championships. Giba looked to me (against Cuba) as though he was struggling quite a bit and it was perhaps telling that they barely used their outside hitters, relying on the middles and the opposite to score their points.
      Meoni has been in and out of the national team for a few years mostly due to his own availability, but also due to periodic attempts to find a quality setter under the age of 35. I think he also has a bad back that doesn’t react well to long travel. As long ago as 1999, Italy left Meoni out of the team for World Cup for that reason.
      Zlatanov is definitely a guy who never transferred his club form onto the international stage. He has a slightly odd skill set (actually not that odd, he’s a great hitter who can’t really pass) and so at times he didn’t necessarily fit in with the way they wanted to play and he may also have fallen out with the coach at one stage. But he has been a dominant player and personality in the Italian League for a long, long time.

      • markleb said

        The comment above related to Brazil’s use of their outside hitters was based on my impression watching the game. It’s not really backed up by the statistics, at least the basic ones on the FIVB website. That was my impression though.

  4. Andrew said

    Hey Markleb, the Trento v Belchatow final of the Euro Champions League was played with the Golden Formula right? I was watching the match the other day on the Legavolley website. Was the entire Champions league played in Golden Formula? are any of the domestic leagues in Europe adopting it?

    I know you’ve discussed it at length previously on Devo’s. Personally I didn’t like it at all. From what I could make out from the commentators, they didn’t like it either.

    • markleb said

      The Trento-Belchatow match is the final of World Club Championships and was played with Golden Formula. As far as I know, noone, except its creator, likes it.
      No leagues, including CL, are using the formula. It was a test in a one off tournament only. FIVB will review it sometime early this year to decide how/if to progress further.

  5. Anon said

    i think that another honourable in the list for middle blockers should the the captain of the Cuban national team Robertlandy Simon, i think he won best spiker and came second in best blockers in the world league and then won best blocker, won best server and came second in best scorers in the 2009 world grand champions cup

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