UEL Volleyball First Team coach Jefferson Williams hasn’t been with the University long, having taken over last year during the mid-season from Simon Loftus.
It has been a long road for Williams, getting his message across to his players, but it looks to be paying dividends after victory against BU.
UEL recently played Bournemouth (BU) in their most recent fixture at the Sports Dock on Wednesday and thrashed the South Coasters in straight sets (3-0).
After beating a team of Bournemouth’s calibre, Williams insisted that the side were progressing very well after defeating their opponents in straight sets for the first time, having lost to the same opposition in the Quarter-finals of the BUCS Super 8s.
“It has to be a step in the right direction, one of the guys was saying that this was the first time we’ve beaten them 3-0, period.
“I think last year also, when we played them down there in the Super 8s Play-offs, they actually beat us in what was the Quarter-finals.
“So in a lot of ways it was good to get revenge on them today, but hopefully it is the start of a special journey we can continue building on for later on in the season,” Williams said.
On a different note, performance wise, Williams expressed his delight, despite not being around the team on a regular basis.
“I’m very pleased, I mean I have not spent a lot of time with the guys but obviously Ian (Legrand) looks after the men more often. I knew they were quite physical and intense and it is also good to see that they are generating a good synergy within the group, I think they hang out a lot together,” said Williams.
“They train hard and there are some things that we need to work on, the blocking I think, we made some errors there. But overall I think it was a good performance, they pretty much controlled the match from start to finish,” he added.
Williams was quick to hail the work of Ian Legrand with the Men’s Team. Legrand is a fellow Volleyball coach at UEL and has more training sessions with the team. With Williams’ focus mainly on the Women’s team, he was pleased at how they have come along in such little time.
Normally prior to any season starting, a long and hard recruitment process comes into effect. UEL are no different and with the university having such a rich vein of overseas and local talent at their disposal, a bedding-in period normally takes time. However UEL, in Men’s Volleyball terms, have bonded quickly and the early signs have shown the teams cohesion at full-strength in their victory last Wednesday against BU.
When quizzed about the new players and how they are settling, in Williams replied, “They have settled in okay, some of these guys are from California and they have come through the NCW system, so they know how to play and obviously they are quite physical and they demand a lot from one-another. It is good to see that and that the other guys are stepping up and delivering.”
The straight sets victory puts UEL in top position of the Premier South League. Next up for the UEL Men’s Volleyball Team is their first away trip of the season to Oxford University who currently occupy bottom position in the league.