Legions of Polish fans outside of Centennial Hall in Wroclaw to cheer for the home team
Wroclaw, Poland, September 8, 2014 - Poland has organised many relevant volleyball events in the past but never anything close to the FIVB Men’s World Championship, something people in charge accept not only as a big responsibility but also as an important award.
And the players of the Polish National Team do not escape of the impact of playing at home as they are the main recipients of the massive support their legions of fans have showed during the first round of matches.
At the conclusion of the last match of Pool A against Argentina at the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Polish players were excited with the results and the full backing of their followers.
Karol Klos, the middle blocker, commented on his team feelings about playing in their own country.
“We do not feel a pressure,” Klos said. “Maybe it will change when we start the second phase in Lodz, but I don’t think so. At the National Stadium and here in Wroclaw we felt the support from the Polish fans and it was amazing.”
The crowd gathered in the Centennial Hall has shown many times what the true cheering looks like.
“The support is our greatest motivation. The fact that Poland is the host country is great. At least for us,” Klos laughed.
His teammate Andrzej Wrona also shared an opinion on being the organiser.
“Poland is in the comfortable situation. Our fans are always loud and our halls are always packed. I think the other teams may be a little overwhelmed – for us it is normal,” Wrona commented.
When asked about the second phase Andrzej said: “We do not want to make predictions, it doesn’t matter to us whom we will play. We just need to play our best and show a hundred per cent of our skills.”
One of the youngest players in Team Poland, libero Pawel Zatorski was out of the match roster during the encounter against Cameroon on Saturday, when his team lost their only set in Wroclaw.
“I observed the match and the atmosphere around. I have to admit – it is impressive while sitting on the tribunes. We could not imagine better start of the championship and better place for it. We felt good, we just wanted to play a good match and did it.”
The team feel confident, but they all emphasise that this is just the beginning.
“We do not want to hang medals on anybody’s neck just yet,” Zatorski assured. “This is what this tournament is for, to determine who is in the best shape on the court. We have to live one match at a time, don’t think about the future and what could happen if we qualify to the next phase.”
The matches of second phase start on Wednesday in Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Lodz and Wroclaw.
Written by Elzbieta Poznar, Young Writer Programme