Sydney, Australia, June 16, 2016 – The Australian men’s volleyball team will be looking to make a statement when they host three of the best teams in the world in the FIVB Volleyball World League at Olympic Park in Sydney this weekend.
The Volleyroos will host defending World League champions, France, world No.4 Italy, and Belgium over three days from Friday.
The hosts narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games a few weeks ago, losing their final match World Olympic Qualification Tournament to Poland when a win would have booked their ticket to Brazil.
Nathan Roberts, Australia’s most capped player, said his team has put the disappointment behind them and will be looking to impress this weekend.
“You go there with one goal, and that is to qualify for the Olympics, and to not get there and to be real close, and have that match against Poland and not come up with the goods, it’s really disappointing,” Roberts said. “We’ve had a few days to think about that, but in the end you’ve just got to move on. We’ve got a big assignment here with World League so now we just have to focus on that.
“I think maybe it will hit me when I’m watching the Olympics, and watching the volleyball, that’s when I’m sure I’ll feel the most disappointed.”
The Volleyroos are returning to the scene of their thrilling victory against France in 2014, which earned them promotion to the top flight of World League.
Since then France has also earned promotion to Group 1, and last year won the competition.
Australia will also be looking forward to clashing once again with Italy, after they stunned their European opponents with a 3-0 win in Italy during last year’s competition.
Roberts said sport fans will be in for a treat this weekend.
“We have three quality teams, two who are going to the Olympics, so we have some really good matches here this weekend,” he said. “There’s going to be two matches every night, and they are going to be really good contests.”