John Gordon Perrin scored 14 points on Canada's debut against Brazil
Curitiba, Brazil, July 5, 2017 – After losing 3-1 to hosts Brazil in their first match in the FIVB Volleyball World League Finals – Group 1, Canada will play a key match against Russia on Wednesday (July 5) at 15.05 (local time) to keep their chances of advancing to the semifinals alive.
Playing in the Final Six for just the second time, the Canadians are in position to improve on their best-ever campaign in the World League, a 5th place of 2013. One of the three remaining players from that team, captain John Gordon Perrin is confident they can make history in Curitiba.
Watch: John Gordon Perrin interview
One of the keys to Canada’s successful campaign in 2017 was the arrival of coach Stephane Antiga. A player of the French National Team for 12 years, he coached Poland to win the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship and has brought invaluable experience to the young Canadian roster.
“He’s worked with me in some different situations, especially with my serving,” commented the 27-year-old Perrin. “He sees things that he likes and then he reminds me about them and to use them. Obviously he has a lot of volleyball knowledge and sharing it with us has been very helpful. He’s integrated very fast and I didn’t expect it to be so quick.”
If Antiga was a valuable addition, Canada also lost scoring-machine Gavin Schimitt, who retired from the National Team at the age of 31. In his absence, the team has developed a more collective strategy, with multiple players filling the stats sheet.
“Gavin was one of the premier opposites in the world and that draws a lot of attention. But now guys have stepped up and filled the hole that was left by Gavin’s departure. It has been fun to play and we are doing well,” Perrin concluded.
Stay tuned for live coverage of Russia v Canada at 15.05 (local time) / 18.05 GMT on Tuesday. Watch all the World League Finals matches on the FIVB's YouTube page