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19/09/14
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Teams

Urnaut: "Real good Team spirit!"

Practicaly hours before leaving for european championship in Vienna, Slovenian national volleyball team step also in front of the gathered members of national press. “We are prepared,” was the moto of all the players and staff members on the press conference, held in Tivoli hall in center of Ljubljana.

“After a four month long period and a lot of promising matches played on different tournaments and European league, we are all very confident, that time has come for our first win on the European championship,” said federation director Mitja Koželj in a good spirit, followed by the team coach Veselin Vuković. “Every single player performed as good as I hope that it will and on the occasions even better! We are all very confident after four months of hard work, systematical training and a lot of sacrifice,“ said also head coach Vuković, who also thinks, that reaching second round is pretty realistic goal for that team on the EC.

“Our team gelled well during those months of hard work and I
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Peter Platenik - The Wanderer

Peter Platenik - The Wanderer With Peter Platenik the team of the Czech Reublic, co-host of the EuroVolley 2011, has an experienced and successful wing spiker in their ranks, who can be considered the secret of the team’s success.

Born in Bratislava, Platenik started his career in 1999 as player for Odolena Voda in the Czech Republic. Since then he has been playing for eight different clubs: in 2002, at the age of 21 years, he left the Czech Republic and joined the renowned Belgian club Noliko Maaseik. One season later he played among the ranks of Panathinaikos Athens. After that he had one-year contracts with Cuneo, Sparkling Milano, Padua and again Cuneo.

In Belgium (1 time champion, 1 time cup winner) and Italy (1 time cup winner) he seized a total of three titles. In 2009 he followed the call from the financially strong Turkish league and joined Ziraat Bankasi Ankara for two years. With the Turkish team he eliminated the Vienna hotVolleys in the 2010/11 CEV Cup competition but he and his teammates were defeated
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Oliver Venno - The giant from Tartu

Estonia’s trump card is called Oliver Venno. At the age of 21 years the 2.10m tall diagonal player is the key player of the Baltic team and already one of the best volleyball players Estonia has ever had. He currently plays for the German VfB Friedrichshafen and will probably play a decisive role when it comes to the question whether the team of Estonia will be able to outperform their 14th rank in the 2009 CEV European Championship in this year’s edition of the competition – their second European Championship.

Originally Oliver Venno was a ‘beach boy’ and a quite successful one: together with Kristo Kollo he won the 2007 U18 European Championship and one year later they even seized the U19 World Championship title. He still is very proud of these successes even though he was able to win this season’s German league with his team Friedrichshafen. “I would not say that this is the biggest success of my career,” Venno said after winning the German title, “my biggest success is still the
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Joao Miguel Jose - Late starter in the middle block

With more than 180 international matches Joao Jose is the figurehead of Portugal’s national team. The 33-year-old middle blocker, who started to play volleyball at the age of 16, wants to throw in all the experience he gained with the German club VfB Friedrichshafen to help Portugal perform well in the EuroVolley 2011 in Austria and the Czech Republic.

For a long time volleyball did not play a role in Joao Jose’s life. He was born in Portimao and only at the age of 16 a friend persuaded him “to experiment” – eventually he started his career in 1994 and joined Che-Lagoense the club of his hometown. In the following years he changed clubs several times within Portugal.

The 2002 World Championship in Argentina was a major turning point for him. With his impressive jumping ability Joao Jose was named best blocker of the tournament which raised the interest in him on an international level. “It was a surprise”, he remembers today. “During the first half of my career things just happened to me.
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Maxim Mikhaylov - Russia’s Spectacular Diagonal

Maxim Mikhaylov - Russia’s Spectacular Diagonal

Both in the ranks of Russia’s champion Zenit Kasan and in the Russian national team Maxim Michajlow figures among the most dangerous players. However, the diagonal player still misses a big international title in his collection. At the CEV European Championships the young star wants to use his spectacular attacks to stand at the very top for the first time.

"Individual awards are consolation prizes", says Maxim Michajlow. And the 23-year.old knows what he is talking about. In the strong Russian league he used to be one of the best scorers throughout the past season and received awards as best scorer of the World League in 2010 as well as the Champions League Final Four in 2011, where he had to accept a defeat with his team Kasan against Trentino in the final.

The fans have taken the giant with the gentle eyes already to their heart. They helped him to the biggest number of the votes in the selection of the all star team of the Russian. "I don’t think of myself as a star but I think I
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Finland’s Turbo Twins

Many teams would be happy to have just one Oivanen in their ranks. Finland has two of them: Matti and Mikko Oivanen are probably the most renowned twins on the volleyball courts in Europe and they want to help their team to deliver a similarly good performance at the EuroVolley 2011 as in the CEV European Championship 2007, when Finland finished fourth.

This has to be the Finish sense of humour: “How you can tell us apart? It’s easy – we look differently“, explained Mikko Oivanen once in an interview. Of course, it is not so easy because at the first glace the two resemble each other like two volleyballs. However, if both are on the court the difference is obvious: Mikko acts as wing spiker while Matti’s role is that of the middleblocker.

For a long time the career of the two developed very similarl: inspired by their mother, the two brothers who grew up in the small town Huttinen in the South of Finland, abandoned track and field athletics in 1995 at the age of nine and started to play
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