Canberra ready to bring the Heat in Bahrain
The Canberra Heat are en route to the Middle East where they will contest the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Bahrain from Sunday.
The 2022 Australian Volleyball League Champions are the first Australian team to contest the event since the Queensland Pirates in 2019.
Canberra last qualified for the 2018 event in Myanmar when they finished ninth.
The Heat have been drawn in Pool A with the following fixtures scheduled on the opening three days of competition:
- Sun 14 May 11:30pm AEST v Incheon Korean Air Jumbos (KOR)
- Mon 15 May 11:30pm AEST v Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi (INA)
- Wed 17 May 2am AEST v Al-Ahli (BAH)
Following the pool stage, competition will continue through to Sunday 21 May with teams classified through to 16th place. The winners will earn a place at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship in India later this year.
Veteran Andre Borgeaud first played for the Heat as a teenager, and now in his mid-30s he gets the opportunity to lead his team at the Asian Championships.
“We’re definitely excited, we’ve had a good preparation and really looking forward to it,” said Borgeaud. “The core of the squad have all been training together. We’re meeting two guys there – Matthew Aubrey is coming in from Sweden and Adam Bradbury is getting there from England – but the cool thing is that everyone has played for Canberra Heat before so we know each other really well.”
Borgeaud knows from previous experience that the standard will be strong, but is confident the Heat can put in a good showing.
“I’ve been to a couple [of Asian Club Championships] before, this is my first one as a player, and it is a step up,” he said. “You’re playing against some fully professional teams while we’re trying to combine work and training.
“I’d be ecstatic to make the top eight, but even around that ninth to 12th would be a really good result.
“A lot of this team have played at [national] senior and junior level, college and clubs internationally, so I think we know how the travel will go and we just want to get there and start playing.”
Julian Coburn will also be attending the event as a referee.
2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship
14-21 May | Riffa BAH
Canberra Heat Squad
Andre Borgeaud (c)
Coach: Ben Hardy
Australian Teams at the AVC Men’s Club Championships
2019 Brisbane Pirates 8th
2018 Canberra Heat 9th
2017 Canberra Heat 10th
2015 Victorian Volleyball Academy 14th