San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 19, 2016 – Algeria coach Mohamed-Amine Belacel has pushed all thoughts of qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games to the back of his mind ahead of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Olympic Qualification Tournament and instead just wants his players to play to their potential.
Algeria have arrived in Puerto Rico for the second and last Women's World Olympic Qualification Tournament that runs from May 20 to 22, 2016. The winner of the tournament earns a place at Rio 2016.
“We aren’t thinking about qualifying because we will play three far more experienced teams,” Belacel said. “We will play hard and try and help our players grow with the experience they will gain.”
Algeria qualified for the tournament after they finished third at the Africa Olympic Qualifying Tournament and they will face Puerto Rico on May 20, Kenya on May 21 and Colombia on May 22.
The team have already begun their preparations after a long flight that went via Paris and Washington, though they have only played a handful of matches since February.
“The players will definitely benefit from playing these matches and for some it will be a baptism of fire and they will have to step up a level,” Belacel said.
“We have players with the energy and potential to play at the highest level and I hope that Puerto Rico will help them and allow our young players to show how good they are.”
As well as the Olympic Qualifier Algeria will also compete in Group 3 of this year’s FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix.
They will take on Mexico, Kazakhstan and Peru in the first weekend of the competition and then face Peru, Croatia and Cuba as they chase a place in the final six in Almaty, Kazakhstan on June 18-19.
“We have been working hard since I started as coach, to try,” Belacel said. “We have had to freshen up the squad and spend time with them because that is the only way we can be the best in Africa. We have a lot of change in the squad and we need some more consistency.”Algeria squad:
Fahima Brahimi, Safia Boukhima, Safia Imadali, Yasmine Abderrahim, Kahina Arbouche, Chahla Benmokhtar Dalal Merwa Achour, Chanez Ayadi, Kahina Chettout, ZahraGuimour, Kahina Messaoudene, Samia Dali Wissem, Nawel Mansouri and Yasmina Belguendouz.