Belgrade, Serbia, May 5, 2017 - Volleyball Federation of Serbia Zoran Gajic welcomed members of the Serbian men's team to Belgrade as they begin to prepare for the European qualifiers for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship and for the 2018 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World League, where they will hope to defend their title.
There are 17 players on Nikola Grbic’s list: Nikola Jovovic, Maksim Buculjevic, Aleksandar Blagojevic, Goran Skundric, Srecko Lisinac, Nemanja Masulovic, Stevan Simic, Uros Kovacevic, Marko Ivovic, Nemanja Petric, Milan Katic, Miran Kujundzic,
Nikola Grbić, head coach of the senior men of Serbia, also invited opposites Petar Premovic of Vojvodina NS Seme from Novi Sad and Stefan Okošanović of Ribnica from Kraljevo, libero Predrag Jevtić from Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, setter Nedjeljko Radović from Vojvodina NS Seme, and receiver David Mehić (also player of Vojvodina NS Seme), who are not on the official team roster.
Nine registered players for the competitions coming up soon (Aleksa Brđović, Aleksandar Atanasijević, Dražen Luburić, Nikola Rosić, Dragan Stanković, Marko Podraščanin, Petar Krsmanović, Aleksandar Okolić i Neven Majstorović) will join the team after they finish duties with their clubs.
"We plan to qualify to the 2018 World Championship right away from the tournament in Croatia, at the end of this month," said Nikola Grbić, head coach of Serbia. "We do not want to complicate things. Simultaneously, we are preparing for the World League that starts immediately after the qualifying tournament in Zagreb. We are missing a lot of players right now due to the obligations they have in their clubs, but we will start working with guys from our championship and a couple of international players and try to incorporate them in the system so the continuity of the work will not be jeopardized. Brdjović and Krsmanović informed me that they will join after May 12, Okolić is playing the final series in Germany, and Stanković in Italy. On Monday, Podraščanin, Atanasijević, Majstorović and Rosić will join the team."
"This will be a very stressful season, as we have a lot of competitions. We have a slightly changed team roster, but we will adapt to the new circumstances. We will go slowly, step by step, trying to achieve our goals," said Marko Ivović, receiver.
"The first competition is always the most important one. It is imperative that we qualify to the World Championship, so we can have more time to relax later and prepare for the European Championship. Our ambition is to be always among the best ranked teams," said Srećko Lisinac, blocker.
Serbia will play in the Pool E qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Championship, from May 24 to 28 in Zagreb, Croatia. The World League starts on June 2, and Serbia will host a tournament in the first week of the competition.