Glowing reports for Gibraltar Volleyball U20 debut in SCA U20s tournament
The U20 Men’s Volleyball squad played in a Small Countries Association (SCA) tournament in Andorra where they faced opposition from Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Northern Ireland.
The SCA U20 Men’s Championships title was claimed by the home team of Andorra. Described as in “great form in the gold medal match and well supported by the home crowd they triumphed, beating Luxembourg 3-1 to claim the throne.”
The opening matches of the SCA U20 Men’s Championship, in Andorra, demonstrated that Andorra and Luxembourg were to be the main opponents to beat outperforming their opponents, with 3-0 wins on the first day.
Although defeated in their first encounter, having to face Andorra, Gibraltar’s young squad was to produce their own bit of history and leave behind a performance which raised some praise.
Reporting on their match the SCA described Gibraltar’s debut match in official competitions as follows:
“The host team of Andorra triumphed 3-0 over the youthful debuting team of Gibraltar, with scores of 25-8, 25-13, and 25-22. The Gibraltar men’s squad was playing in their first-ever match against males in a European volleyball tournament, and the contest will go down in the history of volleyball in Europe. Despite the high-stress level of Gibraltar’s young team, it was observed that the team improved its play as the match progressed, and the team came close to disturbing the host team in the final set.”
Gibraltar’s second match was to see them play Ireland, again receiving some promising reports from officials.
“In pool A, Ireland played its first match against its rivals from Gibraltar. Despite the hard efforts of the young promising team of Gibraltar, the green army of Irelanders secured their win in 3 straight sets, 25-11, 25-7 and 25-22, giving them the right to play for a medal. Gibraltar will face Liechtenstein in the decisive match for 5th place.”
Their final match was to see Liechtenstein clinched the fifth spot in the SCA U20 Men’s Championship with a 3-0 victory 25-18, 25-5, 25-20.
Gibraltar’s U20 squad could nevertheless return home with their heads held high with glowing reports from officials.
Despite their best efforts, the Gibraltar boys were outpaced, but they showed amazing resilience in the first and third sets. It must be noted that this is Gibraltar’s first international appearance for a men’s team, and in that respect, it is a win for Gibraltar to compete among their European colleagues – something that gives a new tone for their future development. Liechtenstein performed admirably overall, and the team has a good potential to represent the future men’s national team.”
Prior to their departure Minister for Sport, Steven Linares praised the hard work of the Gibraltar Volleyball Association’s committee adding that: “The fact that the GVA is now in a position to send an under 20 squad to an SCA tournament is a testament to their hard work and dedication. The fruits of their development programme are plain to see and the GVA now finds itself in a very healthy position in both the junior and senior sections. All the best to the team for a tournament that can only bring positive learning outcomes.”