The rich gets richer. At least that is the case with Italy’s Imoco Conegliano. The current Italian Champions has already extended the contracts of most of its start studded roster, which includes setter Joanna Wolosz, outside hitter Kim Hill, and middle blocker Anna Danesi, all of them stars in their respective national teams as well. In its latest move, it also announced in its official website the contract extension of Robin De Kruijf, “The Queen,” for a third season with the club.
The club spared no nice words about the player:
“The Queen will remain with her smile, her contagious energy on and off the field, and her crystalline class, to delight the audience at Palaverde with her feats under the net.”
The 6’4″ 27-year-old Kruijf is one of the best middle blockers of the world. Having suffered a knee injury at the end of last season’s playoffs, she wasn’t present in the pivotal moments of her team’s title run, which marks the second season in a row such a misfortune happened. When addressing the media about her contract extension, that topic came up. Here are the best parts of what she had to say:
“It was not a difficult choice to stay here, so this club. With a team like this you can still win many trophies in the future and always compete for the highest levels. That’s the plan! Now I’m taking the time to recover, to rest, take care of myself and get back stronger than before to the pitch. Unfortunately it was hard to stay out right on the most beautiful moment of the season, but this time I will do everything to be there at the end without the misfortune of recent years! There is a special bond in this team, an unique feeling, both on and off the court. It’s a lot of fun. But not only that, it’s a very strong team: we have so much potential in the team that I think we can do another super season and aim to win a lot more. I’m happy that my team has allowed me to take the time fo recovery, without hurrying it up, so I do not have to run with it and am able fix my body well for next season. Anyway I made my first jumps in the court recently and I think I’m ready for the World Championship.”
Together with Kruijf, Imoco also announced the signing of middle blocker Gaia Moretto, 24-years-old and 6’3″ in height, who will play in her first A1 season after honing her skills in A2 for a few campaigns. Needless to say, the player was ecstatic about being able to debut in one of the world’s best teams:
“It is a dream come true for me, get to A1 for the first time and do it with the best team in Italy, it is for me a great privilege. I could not dream of better a place for the growth of my career. After four years of A2, it’s a crazy leap, I’m ready to start again and put myself in play on the upper floor. So far this level, I have seen the team as a spectator, coming often to Palaverde to seem it play on my free time. It is a fantastic environment that gave me the thrills from the stands. Imagine the thrill of knowing that next year I will be on the court! It will be a dream to play with this jersey, with amazing champions and with an audience like the Panthers, a great responsibility that will touch me and that I will honor with the maximum of commitment.”