NICOSIA, 16 May 2009 - Twenty years on,
Nicos Ioannou seeks to guide the Women's National
Volleyball Team of Cyprus to the top, at the XIII Games
of the Small States of Europe. It was in 1989, when the
GSSE were last held in Cyprus, that under coach Ioannou
Cyprus won the gold in Women's Volleyball with the first
ever entry of a team in the event. That success was only
the first of many that were to come in the next years.
Ioannou has been at the helm of the Women's National
Team for many years and knows like no other all its
important for me to be leading the team again, twenty
years later, with the GSSE hosted again in Cyprus," said
Mr Ioannou. "Of course, a lot of things have changed
since then. Just think, my hair was still black back
The current team is already training for
the XIII GSSE, but Mr Ioannou does not want to put on
any extra pressure on his players and thus presents the
goals of the team slightly differently: "We want to play
and be proud of our team. We want our game to be the
best we can--and if we achieve this, then the successes
will follow. This is the philosophy of our team. And
this line of thought helps us."
The next obligations of the National Team
of Cyprus are in Liechtenstein, in the final
qualification tournament of the European Championships.
This is a first-class opportunity to test the team in
view of the GSSE.
Up against Liechtenstein, San Marino and
Luxembourg, all opponents that will also take part in
the GSSE, the players of Cyprus will get the chance to
measure themselves in the best possible way. The
Liechtenstein tournament begins on Friday 22 May and
ends on Sunday 34 May.
But the preparation is not without
setbacks. Middle Blocker Stella Ioannou (no relation to
the coach) withdrew from the team following an abdominal
muscle injury. It's not a serious injury, but it will
take up to two weeks for Ioannou to make a comeback,
which means she will probably not be in time for the
The team now includes 14 players, from
which a final selection of 12 will be made for the
delegation to Liechtenstein and for CYPRUS 2009.