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Peter Pláteník looking forward the EuroVolley fights

The Czech national team succeeded at the 2010 World Championship in Italy primarily thanks to an excellent team performance. Coach Jan Svoboda always strived to build a team through individuals. The team was doing well. Suddenly, the Czech team had the second best setter, and the second best libero of the championship. Blockers were among the top ten. Peter Pláteník was even announced to be the best WC hitter. Czech volleyball hasn´t had such a personality on this post for a long time. The main topic with Peter Pláteník was certainly the local European Championship and Russia, where Peter will be playing in the next season.

(This interview was taken before the first Czech match against Portugal at EuroVolley 2011.)


Peter, how do you fell yourself while training the KV Arena? How satisfied are you with the training conditions and accommodation in Karlovy Vary?

The arena in Karlovy Vary is more than satisfactory. The conditions are on a high level regarding accommodation or staff, who take care of us. They meet our wishes in everything. I have a good impression.


On Wednesday you lost to Russia at the preparation match. What impression did the Russians make on you? What is the greatest difference between the World League winner and our team?

Currently, Russians have been a “different league”. But let´s wait for an official match. People say “even a hoe can shoot sometimes”. We hope it will be our case. We may defeat Russians although it will be difficult. Russians have one of the best serves. Thei back court play is perfect. They play fast and their setter Grankin is very skillful. There are not many fields in the world that could beat Russia.

Didn't you mind playing such a strong opponent as the general rehearsal for the championship? Teams usually take weaker counterparts to achieve psychological balance?

I don't know what the purpose of this match selection was. But I don't think it is bad to play a quality opponent such as Russia and later against Portugal or Estonia find out that it is easier.

What was the preparation of the best receiving hitter of the Italian world championship like?

It was excellent - all of us had a month and a half off after the competitions finished. Our head and body could rest. We completed physical preparation with an Italian coach, played many quality preparation matches. We started with less quality opponents and we proceeded to more demanding ones. So I really hope we will be in such a shape at the EuroVolley like at the WC in Italy. I deeply appreciate the relaxation before the championship. I had to play a huge number of matches in the league and in the national team. It is difficult for me to play three matches in a row.

Last year you were playing in Ankara. Now you are moving to Russia. What were the main motifs of your transfer to Krasnodar? Won't you be cold in Russia?

Krasnodar is located near the Black Sea so the weather should be similar to Turkey there. In Ankara I had a contract for one more season, but the club management decided not to invest so much money into the team members and to keep the top competition with young players. This was the main reason for my leaving. Another was a financial one, the language and the motivation to play a better league than in Turkey.


Can you feel any psychological pressure before the championship? What about Czech media being interested in the tournament?

I would say that this has been intensifying this week. Media started to be keen on volleyball more. We hope, fans will come to the hall to support us during our matches.

What about your tactical preparation for the first match against the Portuguese?

Coaches compiled videos and statistics so we will be prepared for the match against Portugal very well.

What is your goal for the European Championship?

We would like to be better than our mates in Ostrava 2001 (note: the Czech team ranked fourth). That means a medal.

You come from Světlá nad Sázavou where you were announced the best sportsman of the year 2010. Will they name a street in Světlá nad Sázavou after you, if you become a European champion?

Well, this is a question more for the local authorities.

So I wish you good luck.

Radek Krpač