Dubai: The UAE volleyball coach has warned her charges not to be complacent after they started the defence of their GCC Women’s Volleyball Championships crown with a 3-0 humbling of Qatar on Wednesday evening.
“We will take every match seriously. There is no room for taking things easy; we are here to win,” Asma Arubay told Gulf News after Fatima Hassan-skippered side came away with an easy 25-12, 25-13, 25-10 win over Qatar before a packed Al Wasl Club’s indoor hall.
“We know that we are a strong team as we are the defending champions and we are playing before our home crowd. But at no point can we take things for granted as any team can be beaten,” she added.
The UAE had no such problem against the Qataris in the opening day’s second match after Oman had got the better of the runners-up last time, Kuwait, 3-1.
The six-day tournament was opened by Ebrahim Abdul Malek, Secretary-General, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW), Dr Ahmad Saad Al Sharif, General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council, Yousuf Al Mulla, President, UAE Volleyball Association, Shaikha Naeema Al Sabah, President, GCC Womens Sports Association, UAE Women’s Sports Committee members Noura Al Suwaidi and Laila Suhail.
The UAE are the favourites to defend the title they won during the first edition two years ago when the competition was held in Kuwait. But coach Arubay does not want to take anything for granted. “We do not know how the other teams have prepared. We have seen Oman doing well against Kuwait and Bahrain is yet to play. So I really do not want to predict anything,” she added.
The UAE will next face Bahrain in their round-robin match on Friday.
(Friday) Qatar vs Oman (4pm); Bahrain vs UAE (6pm(Sunday) Bahrain vs Qatar (4pm); UAE vs Kuwait (6pm)
(Monday) Kuwait vs Bahrain 4pm); Oman vs UAE. (6pm)