Coaches affirm their teams are enthusiastic for the Boys’ U19 NORCECA  Title

PONCE, Puerto Rico, 13 de mayo de 2024.- Head coaches of the eight participating teams in the Boys’ U19 NORCECA Continental Championship, indicated that their teams are enthusiastic to compete for the NORCECA title.

The NORCECA Continental event, to be contested at Salvador Dijols Coliseum, is part of the qualifying process to the 2025 Boys U19 FIVB World Championship.

The U19 NORCECA Champion will qualify to worlds and the FIVB will confirm the number of slots available for our Confederation later on.

Livestream of the event is available on demand at www.r1live.com

Dan Ota, Head Coach of Canada: “We have not had any preparation time with this team because the athletes are all playing with their clubs currently, it’s near the end of the club season, so we had not had the opportunity to train as a team. It’ll be exciting to see them together for the first time today in practice, so we don’t know what to expect and I am looking forward to this opportunity to introduce these young athletes to international volleyball”.

Robertocarlo Argüello Quesada, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “It’s been a six-month training process to put together the team. The group has a clear job they must do on the court, they are eager and enthusiastic to compete. The team is doing well, with talented boys and the physical attributes to play a NORCECA event, we will be able to put up a fight against all our opponents”.

Lian Sem Estrada,  Head Coach of Cuba: ““We are seeking to keep Cuba’s supremacy in our zone and qualify for the World Championship. We have no intention to put pressure on the team, but we will battle for the slots available for NORCECA for worlds. This team is the base of the U17 team that competed in Mexico last year, it’s a young team, with great energy and anxious to do things well”.  

Francisco José Lerebours, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “For me, this is a new challenge, it’s the first time I am head coach, and I am ready to assume the role. The team has a lot of time preparing itself, some of the players have experience at the U17 NORCECA and the whole team has the capacity, projection, and vision to do things well. This is a process of young players developing, but as a team we set some goals, looking for a good performance and finish in a good position”.

Luis Fernando Castañeda, Head Coach of Guatemala: “We have prepared strongly for this tournament for a couple of months when it was confirmed our participation. We are waiting for some athletes to come depending on their American visa. Six athletes in the team are U17 and we are looking for a good performance”.

Carlos De Sevilla Ríos, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “Being in our homeland adds a bit more pressure, but the group is the one that won the NORCECA U17 championship in Mexico, with the addition of one U19 player and two U17 players who did not travel to Mexico, so that event helped the team to withstand a lot of pressure. Participating in this championship with the U17 team that will compete in June in Mexico and in the FIVB World Championship in Bulgaria in August is a strategic decision to compete and prepare for those tournaments. I am happy that the boys are working on a 23-week program in preparation for a world event, which  motivates us. I am very proud of the team and the expectation is to finish among the top three positions, despite facing teams with older players, but we are very competitive”.

Furjil Ong-A-Fat, Head Coach of Suriname: “The team is well prepared, we started to practice at the end of January, so I think the guys are ready to show on the court what we’ve been doing since then up to now. Five players are coming from the under-17 team that competed in Mexico and will bring some experience. We are excited to give everything on the court”.

Charles Sullivan, Head Coach of United States: “It’s a great group of guys that prepared very well, they worked really hard. As usual at these kinds of competitions, for a group that comes for the first time, it’s a little bit different from what we play in the United States, so It’s going to be a large learning curve to go through, so I hope we will push  them through fast and they catch on quick and do a good job here”.