Enjoyable season for Josh HowatsonPARIS(February 19, 2013) – A tough second half to the season has blurred Paris Volley’s playoff picture but Canadian national team member Josh Howatson is confident the team can regain the solid footing it showed earlier this season.
Paris Volley has 11 wins and nine losses this season for seventh place in the 14-team league. They have six matches remaining.
“We had high expectations for the season, all of our starting players have a lot of experience and so we definitely have the talent to be in the top group of teams,” said the veteran setter from Victoria. “But our second half of the season has been really inconsistent and so we're struggling to get in a good rhythm this past month.”
Paris rocketed to a great start winning its first four matches but key injuries proved tough to overcome.
“We had a few games with no opposite and no real replacement until we signed Mikko Oivanen (of Finland’s national team).”
Still, the rest of the season was inconsistent. It included a five match winning streak to end the first half. But the team has collected only two wins in six matches in the second half.
“Our main goal as a club is to qualify for a European Cup next season, since Paris Volley hasn't been in a Cup for a few years now, as well as to compete for the championship in the playoffs.”
“We're working to find solutions but it has been a very frustrating last month of matches,” said Howatson. “Everything with the club has been great, they are professional; we have a great staff that work really hard to prepare us for the matches. “
Still Howatson admits life overall is very enjoyable in Paris.
“My French is getting better and better with time. I'm really enjoying it now that I am more confident than last season. It's nice to be able to communicate with people in restaurants and shops without having to make them switch to English.”