Australia’s most capped volleyballer and one of the team’s most exciting young players have been named joint captains of the men’s team ahead of this week’s World Championship qualifiers at the AIS in Canberra.
31-year-old Nathan Roberts, a veteran of more than 350 games with the Australian volleyball team, and 21-year-old Luke Perry will share the captaincy role as Australia takes on Asian champions Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and Chinese Taipei for a place at next year’s World titles.
Roberts was part of Australia’s successful qualification campaigtn for the 2004 Athens Olympics, and although he didn’t make the final Games squad, was a member of Australia’s 2012 London team.
Perry is recognised as one of the best libero’s in the world, and played last season for Berlin, Germany’s most successful club.
Coach Mark Lebedew said Roberts and Perry will complement each other.
“One of the processes we have begun this year is a process of broadening the leadership within the group, firstly by the establishment of a leadership
group,” he said.
“Having co-captains is a logical extension of that, particularly as we have two candidates who have specific leadership skills.
“Luke is a really intelligent player who is able to communicate what is happening and will happen on the court with his teammates in real time.
“Nathan leads by the example of his commitment to the national team and to winning in each match we play.
“Due to volleyball rules, the libero is not allowed to be the match captain, so Nathan will 'wear the stripe', but we recognise both internally and in the volleyball community as captains.”
The Australians begin their campaign to qualify for a sixth consecutive World Championships against New Zealand on Wednesday night.
The Volleyroos need to finish top two this week to book their place. In 2014 the team had their most successful World Championships, progressing to the second round.
More information and tickets are available at www.volleyroos.com.au