Aussies lay hopes on Italian intel
4 August 2012
VOLLEYBALL: With almost half of their team playing club indoor volleyball in Italy, the rookie Olympic Australian men’s team can call on ‘local knowledge’ when they face off against the world No.6 ranked Italians in their second last preliminary match at Earls Court on Day 9 (Saturday).
It will be another test of character for the world ranked No. 22 Australians, who need to win at least one of their last two matches to advance to the quarter-finals. Their last preliminary match will be on Monday against No. 3 seeds Poland.
With the likes of Aiden Zingel, 21, Nathan Roberts, 26, Thomas Edgar, 23, and Travis Passier, 23, all playing for clubs in Italy, the Australians will have a valuable insight in their bid to overcome their heartbreaking 0-3 loss to Bulgaria in their last outing on Day 7.
Specialist defender Aden Tutton said while the loss to Bulgaria showed Australia could now match it with anyone in the world, bouncing back from the disappointment when they play Italy would be the real test of character .
“It’s easy when you are going well and winning,” he said.
“We are really going to have to find another level in our last two games.
“It’s not just about being competitive. We need to take the next step and go on with it.”
Australia have one win from three matches, after beating Great Britain 3-0 and losing 0-3 to Argentina and Bulgaria.
The results belie the performances of the gutsy Aussies and their world ranking as they have seriously challenged their more fancied rivals.
Given they qualified for the Olympics just 49 days before their opening match against Argentina, coach Jon Uriarte has done an incredible job preparing his 10 charges, who are all playing Olympic competition for the first time.
Tracie Edmondson in London