Blat joined the first division in 2011. Since then, they have been reaching the Final 4 stage almost every year. Coach Chady Bou Farhat, leading the team this year, joined us in a brief interview where we discussed the following:
Q: When did the team start preparations, and how many training sessions per week is the team performing?
A: We started training in November. At first it was three training sessions per week, and then we increased it to four. Two foreign players arrived at the beginning December, and the third joined us a week ago.
Q: What are the team’s goals this year in the championship?
A: Our team is still incomplete, Alain Saade is still not fully available. When he gets ready, and our team is complete, we hope to compete to enter the Final 4 stage.
Q: Which team do you consider to be your hardest opponent?
A: All the teams are prepared. The foreign players make up 60% of the team, and having three foreign players makes every team a hard opponent. Of course, teams with more experience are the hardest to play against, for example Zahra, Anwar and Bouchrieh. In fact, when playing against these teams, it is us who would be giving them a hard time, not the opposite. All the teams are able to compete against each other.
Q: What are the advantages that your team has over its rivals?
A: One of the main advantages is having a Lebanese setter like Jad Chammas. We also have our middle blocker Mario Gebrayel, and our opposite Alain Saade. These three players are considered good Lebanese players.
Q: You have a foreign player in middle blocker position, isn’t that considered as a disadvantage for the team? Knowing that the middle blocker spends only half of the game inside the court (the Libero replaces him in back court).
A: We have a Lebanese setter. Moreover, having Alain Saade as an opposite, a foreign player in that position would not be required since Alain is of the same level, and even higher. Therefore, a foreign middle blocker in our case would be an advantage for us in front line over our opponents.
Q: What are the latest results that your team has achieved from friendly games?
A: Our team is still incomplete. We did not play any friendly game yet, but tonight is our first game against Tannourine.
Q: What are your expectations for your first game this season which will be against Halat?
A: I cannot comment before knowing if Alain will be able to play this game or not.
Q: What is Alain Saade’s situation? Is he not ready? Was he not available?
A: Alain was abroad, and he came back just a week ago. He was not training during the summer, and he just started preparations.
Halat vs Blat
Date: Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Blat‘s history since 2009: