Australian men’s volleyball coach Mark Lebedew says competing in the Volleyball Nations League is central to the development of the sport in Australia.
Lebedew was speaking in the wake of the completion of his side’s campaign in this year’s VNL in Brisbane.
Australia finished in 13th place with three wins including a vital victory over fellow challenger team, Portugal. Australia finished ahead of Portugal on the ladder to ensure their place in next year’s VNL.
Australia also recorded victories over Germany and China. Lebedew says, “I can’t say that I have been universally happy. There are a lot of ups and downs in sport, as in life. It’s not about what happens to you, it’s about how you bounce back.”
It was a gruelling campaign with Australia playing 15 games in 29 days on three continents.
Mark Lebedew says it hasn’t been easy; “It has been a difficult event to participate in. It’s a really taxing event. On the other hand you play all the best teams in the world, you have to back up, you have to go through some difficult times and you have to have the skills to bounce back. So participating, I think, is really central for our development and to have the final round held in Australia is fantastic for us because nearly all the guys are not based in Australia. So the opportunity to come back and play in Australia was special for us.”
The players will have a two-week break before coming together in Canberra for a training camp ahead of the first of the Olympic qualifiers in August.