Vital Heynen is arguably one of the best active volleyball coaches in the world. He is known to extract the best out of even the most limited teams. Such was the case during his tenure with Germany’s national team and German club VfB Friedrichshafen. Now in his new job, things are no different, specially since Poland’s national team is a bit higher up the ladder than any team Heynen has ever coached before.
Heynen has led Poland to a perfect 5-0 start in the VNL so far, beating competition favorites Russia and France, as well as Korea, Canada, and China, only losing one set along the way. Now, ahead of their Week 2 closer at home against Germany, his former team, the coach has decided to make things more interesting and promised players and fans beer in case the team clinches its perfect 6-0 start (Siatka.org):
“A minute after the referee’s last whistle in the match against the Chinese, I told the boys that tomorrow was a special day for me, and that we needed to clinch our 6-0 record. We played exactly 21 players so far in the VNL, I still claim that with such a rotation of players, achieving such a series of victories is a small miracle. Tomorrow we are playing a game against the German national team and this is the match I want to win. If I did not believe that tomorrow we would win, someone should probably release me from my head coach position. It would be awful if the coach did not believe in his team. On the contrary, I’m pretty sure that we will play well tomorrow, our goal is to play even better volleyball than today. If we win, the beers will be on me. I hope that I will be able to buy them and give them to all fans personally, although I do not know how much time we will have.”
11,000 fans are expected in the game tomorrow. Needless to say, if Poland wins the match, which shouldn’t be a surprise given Germany’s poor 1-4 start to the league, Heynen will be out a couple thousand bucks. Fans will remember that this isn’t the first time Heynen has made the promise: