The draw for the Champions League qualifying phase took place today at the CEV offices in Luxembourg, in which the Olympiacos Men's Volleyball team will take part. The Greek champions and CEV Challenge Cup winners will participate in Group 2 of the 1st qualifying round, awhere they will face the Serbian champion Partizan and the Bosnian chmpion Bijeljina. Olympiacos will face their two opponents in single matches, with the aim of qualifying for the 2nd qualifying round. The first two teams from Olympiacos' group qualify, while the third team is eliminated and will continue in the CEV Cup.
The groups in the 1st qualifying round:
Group 1: Neftohimik Bourgas - Budva - Kaposvar - Stroumica
Group 2: Partizan - OLYMPIACOS - Bijeljina - Bye
Group 3: Sastamala - Innsbruck - Apeldorn - Dnipro
Group 4: Mladost Zagreb - Arcanda Galati - Wahuas Las Palmas - Bye
The groups in the 2nd qualifying round:
Group 5: Winner of Group 1 - Winner of Group 4 - 2nd in Group 2 - 2nd in Group 3
Group 6: Winner of Group 2 - Winner of Group 3 - 2nd in Group 1 - 2nd in Group 4
The winners of Groups 5 and 6 and one best runner-up will qualify for the group stages of the top European intercollegiate competition.
Mantouvalos: "The target is to reach the group stage"
The statement of team manager Nikos Mantouvalos to olympiacossfp.gr about the draw: "After the highly successful year that was spent winning the Cev Challenge cup, Olympiacos returns to the top competition, the CEV Champions league. In the qualification phase, Olympiacos, according to the new Cev format, is called upon to qualify from the groups in two rounds in order to reach the Champions league groups. The draw pits us against Serbian champion Partizan and Bosnian champion Bijelina. We respect all opponents but Olympiacos is obliged to win 2 games and qualify as the first team to the next round in order to claim qualification to the group stage. So from the beginning of the season our team has set the goal of entering the group stage and we are all highly motivated for this. We will all at the club work towards this goal."