St. John’s Antigua- New head coach Ezron Gittens is quite pleased with the senior national volleyball team’s preparation for their upcoming 2014 world qualifiers in Tortola from June 7-10.
Gittens, a former senior national men’s team player, who recently took over the reigns from Harris Lewis, has been preparing the national women’s team for the upcoming qualifiers for over two months.
The coach said much has been accomplished, especially on improving the tactical aspects of their game.
“I think the training has gone pretty good. A lot of adjustments have been made to approaches, physically, mentally and technically or tactically as well. Those were the focal points of changing a lot of tactical approaches to the way we play volleyball,” Gittens said.
“The game of volleyball has gone far from where it started. There are a lot more techniques in the game and those are some of the things we have been working on.
“We have been working on areas such as being more aggressive and being more tactical in our selection when we attack and our whole approach to the game.”
Gittens is also optimistic the team will be ready for their upcoming qualifiers despite a few setbacks, especially with players suffering illnesses that hamper their full participation in training.
“I think they will be ready. I have seen the effort. We have had unforeseen circumstances with people getting ill, but I must say when the players who have been ill do come back, you can see them making an effort to try and catch up on the things they would have missed,” Gittens said.
“We originally started with about 13 and some other player who wanted a bit of training would have joined the camp. Whether they qualify or not they would have had their input. They have participated, gaining a little experience along the way.
“Currently we are looking at a batch of about the same 13 to choose from. We will be taking about 10 players to Tortola.”
Gittens said he has been getting great support from long-standing president of the Antigua & Barbuda Volleyball Association (ABVA) Wilbur Harrigan as well as the former head coach of the women’s national team.
“I must say thanks to Mr Harrigan who is the president of the association. He has supported me very much. He called me on occasions and spoke to me and asked certain things. I have requested certain equipment and he provided,” Gittens said.
“Harrigan has done quite a bit for volleyball over the years as well as Harris Lewis, who is the former head coach for the females.
“Lewis has also called me on occasions to ask how things are going, how I am getting through and different stuff.
“I must say I do have the support, especially from members of the association.”