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Sliwka helping shape Polish young guns


Aleksander Sliwka celebrates one of his 20 points against the USA

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 7, 2019 – Aleksander Sliwka is ensuring that Poland doesn’t rest on their laurels in the FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League, despite celebrating their third FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship less than a year ago. 

Vital Heynen’s team won their second consecutive World Championship at Italy-Bulgaria 2018 having triumphed in Katowice when they hosted the tournament in 2014. 

The 24-year-old Sliwka was part of the squad in 2018 and he has retained his place in the squad that opened the 2019 VNL with two wins and a defeat as Poland returned to Katowice. However, this year the squad has been reinforced by five players who lifted the Czech Republic 2017 FIVB Volleyball U21 World Championship. 

Captain Jakub Kochanowski, Bartosz Kwolek, Tomasz Fornal, Jedrzej Gruszczynski and the youngest squad member Norbert Huber have been rewarded for their success at age-group level by being included in Poland’s 2019 VNL squad. 

“There are many players in the national team and I'm happy that there are so many young guys among them and that we have a bit older guys from whom we can learn,” Sliwka said. “It's really important as we have an opportunity to learn from the double world champions and great players. 

“We have reasons to believe that the future of Polish volleyball is bright, and that the younger generation will be able to win medals and represent our country on the highest level. We are all hungry for success and knowledge. We want to improve our skills and we know that we have a fantastic coaching team, which will take care of our development.”

Poland began their 2019 VNL campaign with victories over Australia and USA, but they slipped to a 3-1 defeat to Brazil in their final week one match. 

They are now in action in Ningbo, China where they will take on the host nation, Bulgaria and the 2018 VNL silver medallists France. 

Sliwka played in all three week one matches and the wing-spiker led scoring against USA with 20 points. It represents a rapid rise for the ZAKSA Kędzierzyn Koźle player in the two years since he made his Poland debut. 

“When Ferdinando De Giorgi was the head coach, I made my debut in Pesaro, Italy in a World League match against Brazil,” Sliwka said. “I remember it well, we even managed to win, so it's a really positive memory.”