United Volleys: Eighth is looking for a replacement for Allik

Christophe eighth missed his player. The coach of the United Volleys had switched on the first group game of the Estonians at the volleyball European championship, which was held in four countries, only in the fourth set. Karli Allik was not on the net against Latvia. When the camera changed perspective, the Belgian coach was shocked: The outside attacker sat with a thickly wrapped knee on the edge in the Saku Suurhall in Tallinn.

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The first diagnosis suggested a two-month break for the 24-year-old, the second and decisive one sounded more dramatic: Allik, who only switched from eighth previous Bundesliga club Netzhoppers KW-Bestensee to the cup winners at the Main this summer, falls with a cruciate ligament rupture all season long. He is likely to have an operation from a specialist from Berlin. “He has confidence in German medicine,” saysachten.

In the construct that he himself carefully put together with Captain Jochen Schöps for his start in Frankfurt, a crucial element is now missing. It is important to the 43-year-old coach that the team not only fit together in terms of play, but also in terms of characters. That is why he had largely relied on professionals with whom he had already worked in the past for the commitments.

Probe the market

But now it is time to sound out the market for other candidates. The fact that continental championships are also running in Africa and Asia at the same time as the European Championships could be helpful. In Japan even United assistant coach Liam Sketcher is on site as co-coach of the Australian national team, in Rwanda the Hessians have to rely on the stream for the performance check.

Meanwhile, Jonas Reinhardt is taking an exam in the winter sports hall, his own training center. The Bad Kreuznacher had already helped out last season, but in summer he focused on the sand. “He’s been training with me for a week,” sayshaben. Should the 23-year-old convince, he could get Alliks or an additional place in the squad. The 17-year-old boarding school student Leo Bernsmann is currently competing for this as the second libero.

Close occupancy of the training hall

Both contenders were at the weekend’s friendly matches against two-time Dutch champions Orion Doetinchem, which the Germans won 4-0 each time. “That was very good,” says eight. “I’ve seen positive things, but I’ve also taken work tasks with me.” Player Byron Keturakis is currently avoiding full exercise due to an ankle injury. At the end of the month and thus in good time before the season opener at the Supercup on October 2nd against Master Berlin in Schwerin, the Canadian, who also came from the Netzhoppers, should be fit again.

Eighth is still looking for a solution to a completely different problem: Due to the narrower occupancy of the training hall at the stadium in winter, it is only available to volleyball players until 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. The new man on the sidelines of the volleys would like to give talents from the neighboring boarding school like Bernsmann, who go to school in the mornings, the chance to train with them on a regular basis.

Both sides could benefit from this. The first generation of volleys with coach Michael Warm, founded in 2015, had to struggle with the restrictions. Despite the successes that the net athletes have achieved since then, including the Cup triumph in 2021 and participation in the Champions League, and the fact that there are five former United players in the current German EM squad, the self-proclaimed sports city has their situation has not yet been permanently improved.

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