World League 2013: Preview

Freddie Winters hits past the Brazillian Block.  Photo: FIVB

Freddie Winters hits past the Brazillian Block.  Photo: FIVB

Well folks, after a year’s worth of waiting, it’s finally here, the FIVB Men’s World League of Volleyball has returned for it’s 24th edition.

Canada’s Men’s National team will be competing for the seventh time in the annual competition, and for the first time, it’s second year in a row, finishing 12th last year.

Last year’s pool consisted two of the world’s powerhouses, Brazil and Poland, as well as Finland. After a fast start that saw Canada defeat Finland 3-0 and World number one Brazil 3-2 in Toronto, our boys went for a little slide. It was a nine game slide before pulling it out in the last match, taking down Finland 3-1, at home none the less, to Finnish 3rd (get it?) in the pool and 12th overall. (And the Finns are probably still kicking themselves for it)

Well that was then, and this is now.

It’s a brand new year. Last year's lessons have been learned and the team is ready to take on the new challenge of the 2013 World League.

Gone are the powerhouse teams that dominate the sport. Instead, they’re replaced by something that’s potentially much more dangerous, five other teams vying to place themselves amongst the game’s elite.

In a pool alongside the Netherlands, Portugal, Korea, Japan, and Finland, Canada should be considered the favourite, but it’s far from a done deal. In fact, much like our boys in red and white, all five teams have, at one point or another, shown serious potential to break into that elite group of teams. 

It’s time for Canada to break away from that group. It’s time to be a team that’s feared every time they step on the court, rather than just a team to be wary of.

To do this, we need to beat up on our fellow Pool C members. Not in bully on the playground situation, this isn't college ball where teams can be beat bad, but we have to leave to group the clear winners. When all is said and done, no one should questioning "Were they really the best team to advance?"