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Docklands prepare for title assault

PUBLISHED: 11:50 23 September 2010

LONDON Docklands start their new volleyball season this weekend hoping to go a step further and become champions.

However, the opening game this weekend does not come any tougher as they face a trip to last season’s winners Malory Eagles London.

Docklands finished last season in third position behind Saturday’s opponents and Sheffield, but have lost a few players which manager Andy Hopper admits they have not been able to replace.

Boris Halatchev’s decision to go back to his native Bulgaria is another major blow to the team although Hopper feels they have a more than capable replacement

“Losing Boris was a massive blow, but last season we worked with Slawek Omylski, who is a Polish player that is in the same position as Boris,” he said.

“He has started well in pre-season and hopefully he will be able to continue in similar fashion.

“We have lost a few more players and we have not really been able to replace them, but it seems that all the other teams are in a similar situation.”

Pre-season has been tough for a team low on numbers due to unavailability, but they can take heart from reaching the final at the Dig London Invitational tournament last weekend, before losing to Malory Eagles, and Hopper believes they have learnt a lot from the event.

“It is ideal that we have been able to play them and despite losing twice, both 2-1, it has definitely given us a few tips going into Saturday’s match,” said Hopper.

“But on the other hand it’ll definitely help them as well.”

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