Coaches and captains look forward to 8th Final fixtures in Ankara
Ankara, Turkey, August 31, 2019. After an exciting group stage of the tournament reached its climax on Thursday night with the ‘big match’ between Turkey and Serbia, action at the CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women in Ankara resumes on Sunday with the 8th Finals. Titleholders Serbia play outsiders Romania at 17:00 local time before hosts Turkey take on Croatia at 19:30. The 2017 gold and bronze medal winners are quite obviously the clear-cut favourites of these matches, but surprises are always around the corner and fans can look forward to the eagerly anticipated start of the knockout phase.
Giovanni Guidetti, coach of Turkey: “We are happy to play our matches in front of such a big crowd and I want to thank all fans who have come out to watch and support us during the tournament. I think my team has played quite good this far, but not extraordinarily well. Now, the most exciting stage of the tournament is about to start and every match is very important. We feel the excitement. Croatia did a good job in the first part of tournament. They improved their performance match by match. They are physically tall. Samanta Fabris is the most dangerous player they have, since she always has a high success rate in attack, but we want to do our best and we want to focus and be ready for every match.”
“We are satisfied with the results we achieved in the pool phase, since we won five matches in a row but we cannot be happy with how we played. Of course, the match with Turkey was a bit better in terms of motivation and energy. My players performed at a much higher level than before. Frankly, Serbia and Romania are not at the same level. If we play our game, we will win for sure, but we need to continue with big motivation, not just for the Romania game, but for the following matches too.”
Nneka Onyejekwe, captain of Romania: “It was our goal to make it through the pool stage. I think we have been growing as a team and especially the match with Hungary was an important one. We kept calm despite the support the hosts had from the audience and that victory was obviously a boost of confidence. We still have many steps to take to come closer to the continental elite and in the match with Serbia, the best team in the world, we will be trying to enjoy the experience and opportunity to play against such an opponent. I know some of their players very well and their coach Zoran Terzic as well – with whom I worked while playing for Metal GALATI. I owe them a lot of respect.”
Daniele Santarelli, coach of Croatia: “Turkey have one of the best teams in Europe, there is no question about that and they played a very good pool phase, losing a close match to Serbia.
It is not going to be easy for us to play before such a huge crowd but I believe that we have nothing to lose. We achieved good results in our pool, even though we could have finished second if we had not lost to Azerbaijan.”