‘Ready to fight against world’s best,’ says Ahmedabad Defenders coach Dakshinamoorthy ahead of Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship 2023

‘Ready to fight against world’s best,’ says Ahmedabad Defenders coach Dakshinamoorthy ahead of Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship 2023

The Indian club are in Pool A.

Prime Volleyball League 2 champions Ahmedabad Defenders are set to make history by becoming the first Indian club to take part in Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship 2023. Under veteran coach Dakshinamoorthy Sundaresan, the team has reaped rewards in PVL by progressing for the final in the first two editions. After finishing second in the inaugural edition, the team bounced back to clinch title this year and thereby qualified for the Championships.

This will be the first time that an Indian club will be participating in the competition with the world’s best competing for top honours from December 6-10 in Bengaluru, India. A total of six teams are scheduled to take part in the competition and are split into two groups.

Coach Dakshinamoorthy was elated on qualifying for the Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship 2023 and said, “this is a proud moment for us as we will battle against the world’s best clubs. This will help our players to gain good experience and get to know about the game better”.

Things did not go according to the plan as expected as only one foreign player will be playing for the franchise out of the two signed. “We sorted out the closure of two foreign players prior to the registration deadline. However, Max Senica from Australia will be the lone foreigner in this edition. He has started training with the team and will be a valuable asset to our squad.

“The other foreigner, Ilya Bura, couldn’t make it to India due to visa issues. This shouldn’t hamper our performance as well have a strong Indian core. Also, several Indian players did not arrive to the camp on time due to official duties. The employers had to relieve them from their work which took a bit of time. We started the camp on November 16th and are vigorously working hard on the fitness and technical aspects.”

For the World Club championships, Ahmedabad Defenders had the liberty of signing players from other franchises who have played in the PVL. Apart from Muthusamy, Angamuthu, LM Manoj and Santhosh who are part of Ahmedabad several players from other sides will be showing up for the competition.

“We have signed several players from other franchises – Guru Prasanth (scored the most points in PVL 2), Mohan Ukkrapandian (best setter in PVL 2), Ramamoorthy Ramanathan (best libero in PVL 2) and Ashwal Rai (played a crucial role for India at Asian Games) etc. As mentioned earlier the Indian core looks good and with the addition of Senica the team will put up a good fight.

“A few days before the start of the tournament, club from Brazil – Itambe Minas asked for a practise match on December 3, but we refused the invitation as the opening match was closer to the specified date. Moreover, they are placed in the same group alongside us, and we are playing the opening match on 6th against them. So, we did not want to showcase our strategy just days ahead of the competition.

“This will be a huge moment for Indian volleyball and the players are geared up to put up a fight,” concluded Dakshinamoorthy.

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