By Beng Emmanuel
• “The team is ready” – Coach Albert Leetouang self-assured Cameroon can end their title drought and qualify for their first Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.
The head coach of Cameroon’s Under-21 Volleyball team Albert Leetouang says the ‘level of his team is good’ and that they ‘want to win’ their maiden Volleyball Under-21 African Cup of Nations trophy after finishing third in 1984 and 1998.
The volleyball event which begins this Sunday February 21 and is organized by the African Volleyball Confederation will take place in Egypt. The best two teams will qualify for the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship with Cameroon eying their maiden appearance.
Cameron will face teams like Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the host country Egypt. They will know their first round opponents at the end of the technical meeting scheduled on Friday in Cairo. Despite the enormous challenge, the lead trainer of the twelve (12) team squad is hopeful his team will rise to the challenge and triumph.
“The level is good. We will do better to qualify for the championship. We want to win. That’s the principal objective. The team is ready, all is set. We are aiming for a high standard performance. It is difficult to say if we will win or not but we must at least qualify for the world championship.” Albert Leetouang said.
Cameroon’s Volleyball Under-21 Lions have been preparing for the tournament for several months in Yaoundé before their departure on Thursday. They arrived the North African nation early Friday morning.
Before their departure, they had lunch with the president of the Cameroonian Volleyball Federation, Julien Serge ABOUEM. It was an opportunity for the Volleyball supremo to encourage the team before the start of the competition on Sunday.
“I think this is your year, now is the time to win. I wouldn’t want to put pressure on you. But I am sure of one thing, that we can only win this competition if we are not afraid,” he said.
“The team has been working since six months. They have done a very good job. I am quite sure that we shall at least clinch the second place. That is qualification for the world championship. But we intend to bring back the trophy in Cameroon,” he told press men before the team’s departure.
Cameroon eyes a historic trophy at the continental volleyball event and an eventual qualification for the World Championship for equally the first time.
The 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship will be held in Italy and Bulgaria from September 22 to October 32021. For the first time, the tournament will be jointly-hosted by more than one country.
The eight teams which have already qualified are; Italy, Bulgaria, Iran, South Korea, Cuba, Canada, Russia, and Belgium.