Captain Jochen Schops is doing the best he can to help Germany's hopes
Katowice, Poland, September 19, 2014 - Being the oldest and most experienced player in Germany's squad at the FIVB Men's World Championship, captain Jochen Schops probably understands better than anyone the historical chance his side have as they face an unforgettable semi-final match against hosts Poland at Spodek.
"We have worked a lot for this," he said about Germany's qualification for the semi-final. "We have dreamed of this for a long time and the dream is still on."
The 30-year-old played at the 2006 and 2010 FIVB Men's World Championships when Germany finished ninth and eighth, respectively, but medals at world level for Germany pre-date him, his team and even the country's unification.
This is already unified Germany's best ever FIVB Men's World Championship finish and on that high, thoughts of his own personal finish line are far off, even as he approaches 300 appearances for the national team.
"I haven’t thought about the next World Championship, especially now - why should I? We've had so many difficult moments and now we have tomorrow in front of us. We can only think only about that match against Poland."
After starting his volleyball career in 1997 playing for TG Schwenningen in Germany, he has played for some of the most powerful teams in Europe in the Russian and Polish Leagues, but his current role in Germany's team is more of support player.
"You have to find your role in the team," he said about finding himself in a universal role or first reliever for power attacker Gyorgy Grozer. "At this moment, if Georg plays like he is, I can help from a different place, like with some serves, or entering for the block. It’s just a different task."
His long international career has allowed him to appear at many top tournaments all around the world, including the Olympic Games and World Leagues and while he says it's hard to compare them all, he will have a special brand new experience when he leads his team on to the court to face Poland and go for Germany's dream medal.