Wins against Weymouth and Sheffield Hallam ideal warm up for upcoming top Polish team and then two CEV Champions League legs against team form Zagreb.
This weekend, IBB Polonia London opened their 2019-2020 Volleyball England Super League season as reigning champions with a 3-0 (25:23; 25:16; 25:20) win against Sheffield Hallam. After kicking off their National Cup with a win against Weymouth Beach and Saturday’s victory, the club is now fully focused on the build up to their two First Round matches of the CEV Champions League: away in Zagreb on the 22nd and then at the Copper Box Arena on the 30th October. Before the month ends with the first Champions League match ever contested in the UK, IBB Polonia will put themselves to the test with a match later this week in Poland against that volleyball-crazy country’s champions, Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle.
On 19th October, the current cup and league winners of Poland will host IBB Polonia at Hala Azoty in a critical Champions League warm-up match for both teams. The match will be televised on Polish cable channel POLSAT and will see the English club led out on to the court once more by Olympic gold medallist and Brazilian volleyball legend Giba. It will be the final preparations before the team then head straight to the Croatian capital, where they will play three-times Champions League runners-up HAOK Mladost Zagreb. Any result there will prove critical as IBB Polonia London then host the home leg in the Copper Box Arena and look to secure a place in the second round against the Austrian champions – SK Zadruga Aich-Dob.
“When I played my first match for IBB Polonia London in Crystal Palace earlier this year, the atmosphere was electric. But we had the League wrapped up by then. This season, we have two pivotal matches in the space of two weeks: one against the formidable Polish champions, and the other, in London, against a seasoned Champions League team from Croatia. I am proud that I will be able to be part of the IBB Polonia London team during both those matches and play my part in guiding and inspiring the club to even greater heights and more firsts!” said Giba.
“The match against Sheffield Hallam was a great way to finish our preparations in the UK: we showed a good level of concentration, cohesion and execution” outlined IBB Polonia London Chairman Bartek Luszcz. “But things get at least a level or two harder now. ZAKSA may well be the sternest test we have ever faced, while the two Champions League legs, the first ever contested by a British team, will put a unique pressure on our squad. But I am confident not only in the quality of our coaching team and the players, but also in the tremendous support we will receive. Polonia fans are some of most passionate fans in all of sport, which is why, with three weeks to go till our London match, we have already sold over 1,000 tickets to the Copper Box game. This is such an exciting time for the club and all those in our wider Polonia family.”
Majority shareholder and IBB Builders Merchants Founder Jacek Ambrozy summarised the journey: “When I first invested in this club, playing in an amateur league in a country generally under-inspired by volleyball, my colleagues couldn’t take me seriously. But here we are: National Champions, NEVZA Champions and now the first British club to contest Champions League, and in an Olympic venue no less. Not only that: we have overseas broadcasters covering our matches, we have a range of international sponsors, we have four-figure crowds set to generate an incredible in-arena experience. And we are only five years in. I am so excited about how we have come, but there is so much still to come.”
Next matches of IBB Polonia London:
Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle – IBB Polonia London (October 19th, 2:30PM) tickets: https://www.kupbilet.pl/sport/siatkowka/vb1074
HAOK Mladost Zagreb – IBB Polonia London (October 22nd, 8:00PM)
IBB Polonia London – Malory Eagles (October 26th, 4:30PM) tickets: https://ibbpolonia-maloryeagles.eventbrite.co.uk
IBB Polonia London – HAOK Mladost Zagreb (October 30, 7:00PM) tickets: https://clm.ibbpolonia.com/