Polish powerhouse Zaksa Kędzierzyn Koźle has announced in its official website that it has extended team captain Benjamin Toniutti‘s contract through the 2018-19 season. The French star setter has led the team to two PlusLiga championships (2015-16 – MVP and 2016-17), as well as having led the French national team to two FIVB World League titles (2015 and 2017) and one CEV European Championship (2015). The team also took to Instagram to celebrate the news:
How’s New Year’s Eve? Full of emotions? Keep it tight because we have good info! We have just signed the contract! Benjamin Toniutti is still in ZAKSA next season!
Here is what team president Sebastian Swiderski had to say about the extension:
We signed an extension with Benjamin Toniutti for the next year. The willingness to continue cooperation was mutual. We are slowly starting to talk about the future. This extension with Benjamin Toniutti was a priority, he is the brain of this team and therefore we start with the setter. We did not negotiate particularly long, but it was very difficult to sign him. Our partners played a very important role in, thanks to which it was possible to start talk with Toniutti and his agent. Thanks and words of appreciation belong to our sponsors, who helped in signing Ben. Big applause for them. We see that volleyball in the Opole region is important, that people live in sporting events, want to invest and, above all, understand such situations and needs. Players such as Ben are hard to find and even harder to sign. We have managed this together and I am glad that Ben will stay with us.
Toniutti was likewise very content with his new contract:
I am very happy to stay in ZAKSA for the next season. I made this decision primarily because I feel really good here. I also see that the club wants to continue working with me, trusts me, and that’s important for every player. Also, coach Gardini repeatedly talked about it. Not without significance was the fact that my good friend Sam Deroo has an important contract for the next season as well, which helped me make the final decision to stay in Kędzierzyn-Koźle. I am a professional and I would like to reach for every trophy that I can get. This also influenced my decision, I know I can and I want to reach for further trophies with ZAKSA. For me, it is important to be able to write the history of this club together. Twice we won the championship of Poland together, now we are continuing this joint work, the goal is to defend the title, but we will not stop at this.
Zaksa, who recently played in the 2017 FIVB Club WCH, currently leads PlusLiga with a perfect 15-0 record. It is well in its way to contend for its third domestic title in a row.