Full time men’s national team training centre underway in Gatineau

GATINEAU, Que. – Nine players, including three from Canada’s world championship team, are currently training at the men’s volleyball team full time training centre at the Centre Sportif in Gatineau, Que.

The objective of the centre, launched in 2006-2007, focuses on recently graduated CIS/CCAA national team level athletes to help prepare them for international level training and eventually competition.

Justin Duff of Winnipeg, Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C.,  and Olivier Faucher of Quebec City are the three players from the Canadian world championship team which placed 19th last month in Italy.  The nine-week training centre program will continue until December 17.  Players who do not move on to a professional contract in the new year will then return to the training centre later in January through to April, prior to the 2011 national team selection camp.

The centre is also an opportunity for a player like Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., to continue his rehabilitation from knee injury which forced him to miss the worlds.  Other players at the Centre are brothers Michael DeRocco and Jason DeRocco, and Andrew Town all of Winnipeg, John Galloway of Victoria, BC, and Mathieu McLaughlin of Tilley Road, N.B.

“We hope that by the end of the program we can travel to Europe and play some matches to expose the players to top level competition,” said Canadian national team assistant coach Vincent Pichette.  “The transition from university volleyball to the national team and professional in Europe is a big one and the centre provides a great opportunity for the players to learn the skills they need for the pros.”

The Canadian men’s national team is in the midst of its first full season at the new Centre Sportif and Pichette says it has been a great success.

“We are still discovering the potential of the Centre and so far it has been fantastic,” said Pichette.  “The players love the region and some of them reside here all year. It’s a world class training base and we are able to host international events as well.  The City of Gatineau has been fantastic in their support.”

Canada’s other world championship team members are currently playing pro overseas. Here is a list with team\country, name and hometown.

AnkaraTurkey: Josh Howatson of Victoria and Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., (joining Steve Gotch, Okotoks, Alta.)

ACH Volley, Slovenia: Dan Lewis, Oakville, Ont., and Adam Simac, Ottawa.

AS CannesFrance: Nic Cundy, Edmonton.

LennikBelgium: Toon Van Lankvelt, Rivers, Man.

FriedrichschafenGermany: Fred Winters, Victoria

Lisboa Benfica, Portugal: Dustin Schneider, BrandonMan.

Samsung Bluefangs, South Korea: Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon

SPA Karditsas, Greece: Louis-Pierre Mainville, Notre-Dame de l’Isle, Que.

Fart Kielce, Poland: Adam Kaminski, Chatham, Ont.

IzmirTurkey: Glenn Hoag, Gatineau, Que., (head coach)