KATHMANDU, April 19: The national men’s volleyball team is leaving for Bangladesh on Thursday to take part in the fourth AVC Central Zone Senior Asian Men’s Championship, to be held in Dhaka from April 21 to 29.
The Nepal Volleyball Association (NVA) bade farewell to the team organizing a press meet in the capital on Wednesday.
After the farewell program, the national team captain Em Rana Magar said that the bid to get the medal has gone well considering their preparations.
“Earlier, we used to go to this tournament just for the sake of participation, but this time we are leaving to win the medal,’’ Magar said, “The preparations in the two-month closed camp have been good. We trained in the Covered Hall of the National Sports Council (NSC) in mat and lights we were provided with. Overall, our preparations have gone well and we are confident at winning the medal.’’
Magar added that they have planned to improve on the achievements they have had in Bangladesh last year. He further added that they had been preparing in the limited time and facilities with hard work.
The team’s assistant coach Jagadish Bhatta said that Nepal, which broke the medal drought by winning the silver medal in the third edition of the tournament, will be going to Bangladesh in a bid to win the gold this time around.
“Five new players have come into the team as they performed exceptionally well during the two-month closed camp. The mixture of the new and the old players is very good and we are confident and have the goal to get the gold medal this time,’’ Bhatta said, “We played very well in the third edition despite getting limited time for the training. We had problems with block and receive. We have prepared very well this time giving top priority to improving our weak sides. We have added receive as a backup and the team is very strong in all the aspects now.’’
A total of 25 players were called upon in the closed camp as prescribed by the NVA based on their performances in the last tournament, but 12 players have been finalized for the final squad. The team comprises of captain Magar, Ishwor Thapa (libero), Kul Bahadur Thapa, Dhan Bahadur Bhatta, Man Bahadur Shrestha, Hari Adhikari, and Narendra Giri as old players, while the new faces are Deepak Raj Joshi, Dinesh Giri, Raju Thakali, Surendra Bam and Binod Chand (libero).
Nepal, which defeated Hong Kong in two games and Macau in one, has gained high confidence and is going to Bangladesh to win the gold medal.
The tournament features Nepal including the defending champion Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, host Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Maldives.