“It's important that we play every match at 100% of our abilities,” said France’s head coach Andrea Giani in an interview for ffvb.org. However, this does not mean that he intends to use the 12 Olympic champions on his Volleyball Nations League roster all the time and not give younger players a chance to gain valuable international experience and unveil their potential on the court, defending the 2022 VNL title.
“The objective will be to qualify for the Finals in Poland, but for me there is another equally important objective, which is to give a chance to the young players who have joined us,” Giani pointed out. “The experience of last season shows that it is important that the team leaders have enough rest time after their club season. So we are going to give young people the opportunity to express themselves, especially at the start of this VNL. The goal is to allow them to raise their level of play in international competition. The idea is to prepare for the future, because these young people are called upon to take over from 2025. This new generation must be prepared. Of course, we need to be technically and tactically fit, but what I want above all is players who are on the court at 100% of their potential.”
Still, France’s long list of 30 players available for the upcoming VNL 2023 contains the names of all 12 athletes who conquered the Olympic top two years ago at Tokyo 2020, as well as 13 of the 14 players who earned the country’s historic first VNL title at the Finals in Bologna last year. And that includes the team’s star outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth, the Most Valuable Player and a Dream Teamer of both competitions, the Best Libero of both competitions Jenia Grebennikov, Tokyo 2020 Dream Team middle blocker Barthelemy Chinenyeze and VNL 2022 Dream Teamers Jean Patry and Trevor Clevenot.