SPORTS

Volleyball squad must work hard

Going into today’s friendly match against Australia in Athens, the national men’s volleyball team coach warned that Greece still had plenty of work to do ahead of next month’s European Championship in Russia. «The truth is that we are not ready yet. All the boys are worn out by the tough preparations,» said coach Alekos Leonis, while adding that some of his squad members were currently well below full potential. «Despite all this, I’m satisfied by our course. At this stage, I need to see how some of the players will respond when placed under pressure,» Leonis said. The Australians have brought a full-strength side to Athens. «They’re a very good and well-coordinated team, as was proven at the Worlds in Japan,» said Leonis, who noted that he would have preferred taking on Australia at a later date to fine-tune Greece with tough competition just ahead of the Europeans, scheduled for September 6 to 16. «I would have preferred playing against Australia after our friendlies with Romania for a gradual increase in the degree of difficulty. But the arrangement we have is not a problem. The results of these friendlies is not important. Wins won’t mean that we’ve solved our problems and defeats won’t mean anything either,» said Leonis. «These games are purely for preparation but they will lead to important conclusions regarding the selection of the final squad.»