[Volley-ball] Novotel Cup: first challenge

After being forced to cancel its last two editions due to the pandemic, the high-priced Novotel Cup returns to La Coque this Friday.

The men’s and women’s competition will be held over three days (January 6-8) and will unite four countries (Ireland, England, Germany, Luxembourg).

This should allow Luxembourg’s men’s and women’s national teams to measure themselves against what promises to be formidable competition, especially on the German side, with the U19s for the girls and the U20s for the boys.

For the Luxembourg volleyball players, this will be their first challenge after a promising Euro qualification campaign.

The French coach of the men’s team, Pompiliu Dascalu, wants his players to keep the same dynamic. “The fact that we faced countries like Portugal and Montenegro allowed us to gain a high level of experience. I would like the Novotel Cup to be useful for us and win this competition.”

For that, Chris Zuidberg and his friends will need to win the German Under-20 selection, which does not look easy. “We know the value of German volleyball. They have a big pool of players and we can expect a tough opposition,” adds the technician.

The Luxembourgers face Ireland in La Coque tonight (20:00) and England tomorrow (17:30), with a likely final against Germany on Sunday (17:00).

For this first meeting of the year, Pompiliu Dascalu will not be able to rely on the full squad. Two executive players will be missing. VC Strassen forward Mateja Gajin is still struggling with a stress fracture in his tibia, and VC Lorentzweiler libero Philippe Glesener is sidelined by professional commitments.

Four-year plan

An opportunity for the coach to give some more playing time and, above all, to continue to create a strong emulation between the players. The women’s national team is also expected at the Coque floor this afternoon (5.30pm) for their first match against Ireland. Fabio Aiuto and Ben Angelsberg decided to make the team much younger. Some managers, such as Nathalie Braas and Betty Hoffmann, defended their right to retire with the national team.

“We worked out a schedule with the federation for the next four years, and they were too old to deal with it,” explains Ben Angelsberg.

Therefore, bottle class promotion will go all out for this Novotel Cup (most of the selected girls were born between 2004 and 2007) and it is rare that there are no girls from Walferdange in the group. “The goal is to work with this group for the next three to four years to consolidate it and achieve good results in the future. But the Novotel Cup is not at the level of the Silver League, which allows us to win matches in this tournament,” continues the former coach of Résidence de Walferdange.

So, although the Germans look formidable, we will also have to consider the young Luxembourgers.


Men’s tournament: Ireland, England, Germany (U20), Luxembourg.
Today: 12:30 Germany (U20) – England; 20:00 Luxembourg – Ireland.
Tomorrow: 15:00 Germany (U20) – Ireland; 17.30 Luxembourg – England.
Sunday: 9:00 England v Ireland; 17:00 Luxembourg – Germany (U20).

Men’s group: Si.Novais, Sa.Novais, Braas, Peters, Distefano, Weber, Hoffmann, Hilbert, Costantinou, Erpelding, Zuidberg, Feit, Galoppo.

Women’s tournament: Ireland, England, Germany (U19), Luxembourg.
Today: 15:00 Germany (U19) – England; 17.30 Luxembourg – Ireland.
Tomorrow: 12:30 Germany (U19) – Ireland; 20:00 Luxembourg – England.
Sunday: 11:30 England v Ireland; 14:30 Luxembourg – Germany (U19).

Women’s team: Batista, Mulli, Boudot, Schneider, Bokungu, Grüneklee, Teso, G. Tarantini, Richartz, Reiland, Schaack, Van Elslande, Fraschetti, L. Tarantini, Snäll, Karzel.

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