The Nepal men’s national volleyball team is preparing for an international match after a long hiatus. The team is gearing up for Asian Senior Men’s Central Zone Challenge Cup, slated to begin on December 21 through 29, in Bangladesh, Dhaka.
Nepal has recently appointed Han Abbing as the head coach of the team. The Dutch coach has already coached the Nepali boys earlier for the same tournament in 2019.
Nepal Live Today correspondent Prasun Sangroula recently caught up with Abbing, during the practice session that was taking place in Army Physical Training and Sports Center. In the following interview, Abbing talks about Nepal’s preparations and what one can hope from the team.
As we all know that the date of the championship is very near, could you let us know how the preparation is going on?
It’s going very well. The players have a very good mentality. In the beginning, I had to work on their fitness because due to the pandemic they were deprived of regular fitness. Likewise, to avoid muscle injury, I first worked on making them fit as they used to be prior to the pandemic. But now I think they are back in the form and fully fit.
You have trained our boys earlier as well. What is the difference between the boys of then and of now?
First of all, I am very happy to be back in Nepal and coach the national volleyball players again. As mentioned earlier, the main difference I realized in the boys was their fitness. At the beginning of the practice session, they were not as fit as they used to be. As the boys are familiar with my coaching style and idea, they are coping up very well with me. They remembered many things I taught them last time. I didn’t need to explain everything again.
As the boys are familiar with my coaching style and idea so they are coping up very well with me’
Likewise, this time we also have Man Bahadur Shrestha in our squad. Last time due to some unforeseen circumstance he could not play with the team. I have heard a lot of good things about his performance and watched his videos as well. His presence in the team will definitely improve the team’s performance.
What is your expectation from the tournament?
Before anything else, we want to bring the best results with the best performance. Last time we could not bag any of the medals. But this time we do not want things to be similar. We want to be back home with at least one medal but it is not that easy. The boys have a dream to win the championship while on the other side we also need to be realistic. We are back in the game after a long hiatus, so it will also not be easy for us to come home with a medal. Whatever the situation is, we will try our level best.
‘I see a very good mentality and attitude among the players. They are eager to play volleyball and score points’
What is the team’s main strength? Is there any area where our boys need improvements?
First of all, we have some good skills. I see a very good mentality and attitude among the players. They are eager to play volleyball and score points. Few players have developed very good combinations with each other and we should use it in the match.
Yes, there are some improvements needed. Our boys need to gain more experience in international matches. They need to frequently play and compete against foreign countries. Similarly, they also need to know more about international volleyball, and things required to play international volleyball.
Lastly, what’s your message for Nepali volleyball fans?
I am missing the atmosphere that Nepali fans create in the home court. I hope they will watch our match on YouTube and other internet spaces and support us like they always do. Likewise, I expect one day we will again play an international game here in Nepal and witness the hall-full of the audience’s energy.