Injury keeps Garay out of Brazil squad for VNL

Fernanda Garay has been left out of Brazil’s 30-woman squad for the FIVB Nations League after suffering a sprained ankle, and head coach Ze Roberto has instead called upon some emerging talent.

Garay, who has renewed with Praia Clube for the Superliga Feminina next season, asked not to be called up while she recovers from the injury she sustained in the Superliga play-off final against Minas.

With Camila Brait, Tassia, Gabi Candido, Drussyla and Dani Lins all requesting dispensation from the squad for various reasons, and Thaisa announcing her retirement from the national team, Ze Roberto has been forced to shuffle his pack for a tournament he said he is reluctantly attending.

‘Forced to compete’

“We have planning going on,” Ze Roberto told Globoesporte. “There are four major competitions this year, which I think is too much.

“We just finished the Super League last week, on April 26, and on May 21 we’re starting to play the League of Nations.

“I think we have to talk a lot with the International Federation, because the times are very tight, and the championships are long, which is the case with the League of Nations.

“If I could I would not even play the League of Nations. It is a championship that I would skip, but as we are classified we are forced to compete.”

Youthful squad

Ze Roberto has included Hinode Barueri’s 19-year-old opposite hitter Tainara Santos, who has made just two previous appearances for the Selecao, along with Abel Brusque’s 18-year-old wing-spiker Julia Bergmann.

Tandara Caixeta and Suelen Pinto, both of whom featured in last year’s VNL Dream Team, return this year to add some experience to Ze Roberto’s squad, which is captained by Minas outside spiker Natalia Pereira.

Garay posted an emotional message on Instagram reflecting on her season with Praia Clube, who were beaten finalists at the hand of Minas in the Superliga Serie A.

Garay focused on recovery

She said: “I could not find the right words to talk about this season, it’s still not easy to describe, but the words that fit the most are LEARNING and GRATITUDE.

“It was certainly a year of many new challenges, overcoming, full dedication, and learning was almost daily.

“To know that I will have the opportunity to wear the Clube shirt again and to be sure that we will be together for another season motivates me even more to focus on my recovery and to be 100 per cent for next season!”