Gavin Schmitt, the Canadian Right Side who played this past season for Iskra Odintsovo of the Russian Super League, has signed a two-year contract with Arkas Izmir of the Turkish League for the 2013-2014 season.
Arkas Izmir is of course a Canadian home away from home that also houses National Team Head Coach Glenn Hoag and National Team Left Side Gord Perrin, who also signed a contract extension with the club. Last year, Canadians Justin Duff and Adam Simac were also part of the team.
The Turkish Club has propelled themselves to the top of European volleyball in recent years with a fourth place finish at the 2012 CEV Champions League, and a sixth place finish in 2013. For those who can remember back to 2009, Arkas won the CEV Cup, and Canadian Legend Paul Duerden was named Cup MVP. Can another Canadian right side bring the club to European glory?
Arkas has room on the club for another foreigner with the departure of three key players, opposite Liberman Agamez from Columbia, American setter Kevin Hansen, and Brazilian outside Joao Paulo Bravo.
We talked to Gavin on last week’s episode of the Volleyball Source (Episode 43, which you can view here), where he mentioned he had yet to be paid in full for his time with Iskra Odintsovo. Luckily for him, it looks like Arkas Izmir is a little more stable than what he was used to in Russia.
Can Gavin propel the team to European greatness under the watchful eye of Coach Hoag? I guess we’ll just have to find out, but one thing is for sure, this can only lead to good things for our National Team in the years to come.