Sydney, Australia, June 25, 2015 – Rival coaches have played down fatigue as a factor as Australia prepares to host Brazil in this weekend’s World League round in Sydney.
Both teams arrived in Sydney on Tuesday after long flights from Europe, but at Thursday’s pre-match news conference Australian coach Roberto Santilli and Brazilian assistant coach, RoberleyLeonaldo, said it wasn’t an issue.
“We get use to this because this is what World League is about,” Leonaldo said.
“We are really happy to be here in Sydney, it is the first time we have played here. Australia will be a good opponent, they have earned the right to be playing Group One.”
The Brazilians got the chance to see two of Sydney’s iconic landmarks, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, which formed the backdrop for the news conference.
Captain Bruno Rezende said his team is determined to put on a good performance this weekend, even though they have already qualified for the World League finals as the host nation.
“We have been number one team in the world since 2003, our fans and all of Brazil always expect us to win,” he said.
Australian coach Santilli said after losing 2-0 to Brazil in Sao Paulo earlier this month the Volleyroos were determined to turn the tables in Sydney.
“We have been giving a wonderful opportunity by Volleyball Australia to play against the best teams in the world,” Santilli said.
“It is exciting to be playing Brazil in front of our home crowd. I’m not saying we can beat Brazil, but we have to be confident and play well.”
Australian captain Tom Edgar was also excited about his team’s chances.
“To play a team like Brazil, on our home courts, is an incredible opportunity for us and also volleyball fans,” he said.
“I think we showed in Brazil earlier this month that we can match it with them, so this weekend we just need to be more consistent.”
Australia takes on Brazil on Saturday night, and then again on Sunday afternoon. Brazil currently sits on top of Group A, while Australia is on the bottom.
Australians have reacted positively to the arrival of the world’s top ranked volleyball team, with strong ticket sales for both matches.
“Sydney is gearing up for a spectacular sporting match this weekend when the world’s best men’s volleyball team, Brazil, will take on Australia’s Volleyroos at Sydney Olympic Park,”NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, said.
“The NSW Government is proud to have secured this major sporting event
for Sydney through our tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW,
and I wish both teams the best of luck this weekend,” Mr Ayres said.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said: “Sydney
remains Australia’s number one events State and we are excited to be
hosting another sporting event in the world-class facilities at Sydney
I encourage everyone attending this weekend’s volleyballmatches to also take some time to explore the city’s famous food andwine scene, cultural attractions and beautiful beaches.”