Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

England calls for young London players

The coaching staff of IBB Polonia London have achieved another success story: representatives of Pro Volley Academy have had the call up to the under 18 England National Team

The wait was short for the first successes for the 2020 recruits of the amalgamation of IBB Polonia London/Future Stars and Pro Volley Academy. Three of the athletes training under the Pro Volley Academy brand have been sent a letter informing them of their selection for the England National under 18 team. In mid-December the young athletes headed north to the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering. The short training camp was designed to test the skills of the players as well as to measure their potential in the sport in the international arena.

From the group of thirty, gathered by the Under 18 England Head Coach Keith Trenam (also Head Coach of Sheffield Hallam, league rival of IBB Polonia London), three Pro Volley Academy players had the call up: the captain and setter Gabriel de Gama, receiver Nahome Tewelde and middle blocker Nathan Williams. For two of these players the selection was the first in their life indicating the success story that the Pro Volley Academy has been in its first year, not only for the players but for the coaching staff as well (Vangelis Koutouleas and Dominik Zmuda).

“The first effects of the Academy are starting to show. The national team call up is good evidence that we are producing the next volleyball stars. The best example of this is the middle blocker who under our guidance has really developed into a good player already. I am sure the selection will further motivate our young players as well as the coaching staff. We are soon to start our next round of recruitment of rough diamonds that we can shine in the combined fields of academics and volleyball,” said Pro Volley Academy Head Coach and IBB Polonia London Head Coach Vangelis Koutouleas.

“The volleyball England camps at Kettering help me to improve my technical abilities and maintain constant focus due to being in contact with the highest level junior players in the country. Coach Keith really impacted my skill level by doing individual setter training during the last camp which was on the 12th of December,” said Gabriel De Gama, setter and captain of Pro Volley Academy.
“Attending England Camp in Kettering is a good way for me to continue bettering myself as a player while representing my country and my team, taking what I have been taught and applying it to my training and game-play there. Being a new recruit, I notice the skill level and ability of the players is high and vary quite differently and I look forward to training and playing with them in the future,” added Nathan Williams, middle blocker of Pro Volley Academy.
“Going to England camps helps me know how and what should I improve on by competing with others all around the country. It is a very good experience and motivates me to do better as I will be competing with them in National Cups,” concluded Nahome Tewelde, outside hitter of Pro Volley Academy.
All of this indicates that this is just the beginning for these young players. The next training camp is planned for January and it is likely that the three players will be selected once again and it is possible that one more player from the Academy will join them making the total four in number.

The project has an amazing potential and it shows how much work has already been put into the Academy. In just a few months, the coaching staff has managed to raise the level of the players to allow them the opportunity to join the national team. Thanks to the formula under which the Pro Volley Academy is operating, the players are working towards their BTec or A-levels which opened many doors around the world to them.

The next round of recruitment will take place for the 2021/2022 school year. School work and training will take place at Northolt High School in West London. Details will be available from the coaching staff at or on the webpage,

Pro Volley Academy, working with IBB Polonia London as well as Future Stars, is a unique system of education in England for students of 16-17 years of age. The Academy started in September 2020 and its aim is prepare its students for post 16 qualifications and high level volleyball as senior players.


Contributor, Katarzyna Strag


Photo, Pro Volley Academy