Co-hosts Bulgaria wants to do well in front of its home crowd in this year’s WCH. However, it knows it has a very difficult task ahead if it plans to improve on its 13th place finish in the last edition of the tournament in 2014. Knowing that support from home fans go along way in such big competitions as these, some players have appealed to volleyball lovers around the country to fill up the arenas for the team’s games (FIVB.com):
“We can’t do without you! We hope you will pack the stands in Varna to give us extra strength, so later we can be together again in Sofia. I believe that together we can reach the finals in Italy. We are all highly motivated and eager to play at the World Championship.” – Roselin Penchev
“The 2015 European Championship in Bulgaria was an incredible experience for all of us. Now the participating teams will be even better and I am confident that the emotional charge will be the same. We are ready to welcome you to the World Championship venues. We can feel your support when we are on the court. Together we will succeed!” – Nikolay Penchev
Bulgaria will prepare for the tournament with joint training sessions and friendlies against Russia, Belgium, and Egypt. It really lucked out in the drawings. It will start the WCH in Pool D longside Finland, Iran, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Poland. It should have no trouble finishing in at least 3rd place against that kind of competition.
- Setters: Dobromir Dimitrov, Georgi Seganov, Ivan Stanev
- Opposites: Boyan Yordanov, Danail Milushev, Miroslav Gradinarov, Nikolay Uchikov
- Outside hitters: Dimitar Marinkov, Nikolay Penchev, Rozalin Penchev, Todor Skrimov, Valentin Bratoev, Zlatan Yordanov
- Middle blockers: Aleks Grozdanov, Krasimir Georgiev, Nikolay Nikolov, Svetoslav Gotsev, Teodor Todorov, Viktor Yosifov
- Liberos: Petar Karakashev, Teodor Salparov, Vladislav Ivanov
Note that two of the team’s biggest stars are missing, as both Tsvetan Sokolov and Georgi Bratoev are recovering from injuries.