USA (USA) vs. Poland (POL) men - Final 1-2 #5981722

Poland during their national anthem before the VNL 2023 final in Gdansk

Poland’s Serbian head coach Nikola Grbic released a list of 30 players he will rely on for the upcoming 2024 men’s national team season. There are no notable absences from the athletes responsible for the team’s impeccable 2023 season. In fact all players, who qualified the team to this year Paris 2024 Olympic Games at last fall’s FIVB Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifier in China, all players, who beat USA in the Volleyball Nations League 2023 final, and all players, who propelled Poland to the top of the 2023 CEV Men’s European Championship podium – a total of 16 names – are featured on Grbic’s 2024 line-up.

The list includes the likes of VNL 2023 Most Valuable Player Pawel Zatorski, EuroVolley 2023 MVP Wilfredo Leon, living legend Bartosz Kurek and plenty of high-calibre stars like Aleksander Sliwka, Jakub Kochanowski, Kamil Semeniuk and Lukasz Kaczmarek, to name a few.

The new roster also marks the return of 29-year-old outside hitter Arthur Szalpuk, a member of the squad that triumphed at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, who last played for Poland at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup in Japan, where the team earned silver.

“When deciding who would be in the squad for this year's season, I took into account the previous two seasons and those players who, in my opinion, had the greatest burden. I'm particularly referring to last year's group,” commented Grbic. “There are, of course, also some new players who will be included in the preparations from the beginning.”

The number one team in the FIVB Volleyball World Ranking will start their VNL campaign in Antalya with a remake of last year’s final against United States on May 22. While in Türkiye for the first competition week, they will also meet Canada, the Netherlands and Slovenia. During the second competition week in Fukuoka, Poland will take on Bulgaria, Türkiye, hosts Japan and Brazil. And for the last week of the Preliminary Phase, they will be in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana to play against Italy, Argentina, Serbia and Cuba. Poland will start the real defence of their VNL title at the Finals from June 27 through 30, which they host again in Lodz. The Olympic Games in Paris is set to take place from July 26 to August 11.

“The preparations for Paris start on May 1,” Grbic stated. “Not everyone will start at the same time and not everyone will be with us from start to finish, but all players will play a very important role in preparing the team for the Olympic tournament, whatever that role may be. I just hope that we will stay healthy and be able to prepare as best as possible for the upcoming season.”

Poland men’s national team full roster (subject to eligibility check to be conducted by the FIVB):

Setters: Grzegorz Lomacz, Jan Firlej, Marcin Janusz, Marcin Komenda
Opposites: Bartlomiej Boladz, Bartosz Gomulka, Bartosz Kurek, Dawid Dulski, Karol Butryn, Lukasz Kaczmarek
Оutside hitters: Aleksander Sliwka, Artur Szalpuk, Bartosz Bednorz, Kamil Semeniuk, Michal Gierzot, Mikolaj Sawicki, Tomasz Fornal, Wilfredo Leon
Middle blockers: Jakub Kochanowski, Karol Klos, Lukasz Usowicz, Mateusz Bieniek, Mateusz Poreba, Norbert Huber, Sebastian Adamczyk, Szymon Jakubiszak
Liberos: Jakub Popiwczak, Kamil Szymura, Kuba Hawryluk, Pawel Zatorski

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