That happened as well!

After a couple of unsuccessful tries of the Macedonian volleyball team qualified for the European Championship. That happened as well! Despite the big skepticism and of course in a month dominated by the handball world championship in Germany and Denmark still the Macedonian volleyball players managed to qualify for the first for them big competition. The handball players on the other hand did not fared so well on the world championship.

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Let’s get back to what is historical for the Macedonian volleyball. The qualifications did not went well as the volleyball players wanted or anyone in Macedonia would have wished for even though they had a happy end. They lost games that had written down beforehand as victories, they fought in those where they were expected to lose, this group of the Macedonian team did not give up. They were playing, competing together in the qualifications and the European League in which they ended up second in the last few years and they know each other well. It was interesting to see how they were cheering and supporting each other, at one point even more than the crowd. On the D day, the day when they managed to qualify for the European Championship a lot of things had to come into place. At first Sweden had to win in a match that they were favorites in, that happened and then Latvia to beat Israel. Latvians did not had a special motive to play and win because they did not had any chances to qualify and until that moment they won only one set in the qualifications. But that happen as well, Latvia beat Israel with 3 to 1 and in the sport hall you could hear a great relief and a surge of emotions and support towards the players. The “only” thing that was left was to win 3-0 against Hungary. It came that time and with a lot of heart and knowledge, they managed to win and qualify for the championship. Afterwards it came what we have all been waiting for, the celebration! With their families, relatives and friends on the stands it started to spread the joy that was later spread with all Macedonia.

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This part is now over. The qualification is done, what is coming now is a representation with dignity, combative spirit and heart of Macedonia. In a group for which the coach and some of the players said that except for one clear favorite there are teams that can be played with, the expectations should not drop only to just participation. With playing, as they show like they can, the Macedonian volleyball team can and must satisfy itself with something more than just taking part in the European Championship.

Andrej Naumovski

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