Bleiburg, Austria. Austrian champions SK Zadruga AICH/DOB will begin their journey in the 2021 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men with the 16th Final, hosting the Czech heavyweight VK Dukla LIBEREC at the JUFA Arena Bleiburg on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Earlier this season, the Austrians finished in second place the Pool D tournament scheduled for the 1st Round of the elite CEV Champions League, where they played against top teams from Russia and Bulgaria – Dinamo MOSCOW and Neftochimik BURGAS.
“We lost to the Czechs in the CEV Cup two years ago, so this time we are eager to win the upcoming matches. However, we are also realistic enough to understand how hard and challenging these matches will be,” admits Sports Manager Martin Micheu of SK Zadruga AICH/DOB.
Both the home and away matches will be taking place in Bleiburg due to restrictions in place in the Czech Republic to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the latest measures introduced by Austrian authorities will prevent fans from attending the matches at JUFA Arena – but live streaming will be available for both fixtures on the CEV’s YouTube channel.
Home head coach Matjaž Hafner, who has been preparing his team for two challenging encounters, believes in his team. “We are well aware that the Czechs play high-class Volleyball at the moment and we know that they have many experienced players on their roster. Still, our team has the potential to win if our fighters are able to keep the level of performance they have shown lately.”
The roster of VK Dukla LIBEREC includes Jan Stokr, a winner of both the CEV Champions League and FIVB Club World Championship earlier this decade when he was wearing the shirt of Italian heavyweight TRENTINO Volley.