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London Volleyball : England beach volleyball teams announced
Posted by Media Team on 2019/2/26 11:05:53 (117 reads)

European Continental Cup (men's and women's)
Brothers from Richmond selected
It will be an historic occasion when international beach volleyball returns to the capital and now we know who will be representing England.

The Feel Good Too Centre in Leyton will be hosting the CEV (European Volleyball Federation) Cup this summer and the players who are to represent England on home sand have been selected. A route to qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Continental Cup is a prestigious event and hosting it in England has been made possible by the local Waltham Forest council committing to bringing top class sport to the borough. The incentive for the England teams to progress from the round one event in London is that the third and final round of the Continental Cup is exclusively for teams which have not already qualified for the Olympic Games through their ranking or other qualification tournaments.

Held on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May, the event will be played in a thrilling format with each country having two pairs who will compete together as one team in ties which are best of three matches. The countries' first pair will play each other, while the second pairs will also face off. If the tie is level after two matches, the contest will be decided by a golden match. This has the added spice that the national team coaches can pick any two of their four players to compete in the decisive game.

The England Teams
The England women's team which will face France, Belarus and Northern Ireland has a great blend of youth and experience. The selected pairs are Vicky Palmer and Jess Grimson and Ellie Austin and Anaya Evans.

Multiple winners of the national title on the sand, Vicky and Jess are England's number one women's beach pair and have competed on the World Tour. They reached the pinnacle of their careers to date when they became the first women to represent England at beach volleyball at a Commonwealth Games when they competed at the Games on Queensland's Gold Coast last March.

Just 20 and 17 years old respectively, Anaya and Ellie are two rising stars of English beach volleyball. They have come through the England Talent Pathway and have represented their country at volleyball too. Notably, Ellie achieved the highest ever place for a junior England pair at a European event. The pair have experience playing in FIVB, CEV and NEVZA events but this step up to senior level will be a great opportunity for them.

The men's four-man squad has a similar exciting mix of experience. The selected pairs are Chris Gregory and Issa Batrane and Javier and Joaquin Bello. They will come together to compete against Switzerland, Armenia and Bulgaria.

Chris is a stalwart of beach volleyball in this country. A multiple national champion on the sand, he has won NEVZA beach tournaments and has represented Great Britain at a European Games. Last year the 210cm tall Chris was a colossal presence as he finished fourth with his partner Jake Sheaf at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Issa has been playing alongside Chris and is a fledging talent who has come through the England Talent Pathway for both volleyball and beach volleyball. He has a wealth of experience competing in junior FIVB, CEV and NEVZA events.

Open in new windowTwin brothers Javier and Joaquin Bello are well-recognised in the volleyball community with a long list of achievements despite being only 18 years old. The pair have represented England at youth level on the beach and indoor on many occasions and have had spectacular junior careers. They won gold in the Youth Commonwealth Games before finishing fifth in last year's Youth Olympic Games.

Both the men's and women's squads have selected reserves who will be eligible to replace any of the players in the event of an injury before the competition starts.

A weekend for volleyball fans.

The event is being managed by Sideout who are experts in delivering beach volleyball events and there will soon be news about how you can be there to cheer on your favourites. The popular image of beach volleyball is of the female players attracting the crowds but, with Javier and Joaquin being London players from Richmond and Chris and Issa hailing from Surrey and Sussex respectively, friends and club-mates will be there in force to support the men at a London event.

25th and 26th May will be an historic occasion to have international beach volleyball back in London so make sure you don't miss it. A great atmosphere is promised and information about how to get tickets will be released soon so keep an eye out on Volleyball England's channels or follow Sideout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Picture: Volleyball England

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

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