POLONIA hope the arrival of experienced coach Vaggelis Koutouleas will lift their fortunes after an indifferent start to the season.
The Greek newcomer will try to help head coach Chris Hykiel improve on a win-loss record which at least was one better at 3-4, following Saturday's straight sets home win over Newcastle Staffs.
Considering the big-serving Kuba Jablonski missed training with injury in the week and that Michele Donolato was unavailable due to family commitments, they can be well-pleased with the 27-25, 25-21, 25-22 victory.
"I will take great delight learning from him," Hykiel said of Koutouleas. "He immediately started offering advice at training this week and during the match.
"His position as assistant coach is laughable considering the mismatch in our respective knowledge and experience, but it will be a great boost to the team as we have certainly been under-performing this season."
Staffs have been a thorn in Polonia sides over the years, but the advantage has swung towards Hykiel's men over the last few seasons. The starting seven featured
Greg Niski as setter, Alex Gaitan at opposite, Michas Saller, team captain, Dom Maslach at swing, Sam Piecka and Patrick Selep in the middle and Bjorn Karstens at libero.
GB libero Andrzej Saller was on the bench, with a view to strengthening the hitters if required.
Defensively, Polonia started poorly, allowing Staffs to develop a six-point lead, so Jablonski was introduced for Gaitan and six thunderous serves later, the scores were level and Polonia went on to take the set.
Sets two and three were more straightforward, with Staffs only ahead by a single point at one stage in the third set. The seven players in the line-up were kept until the end, with brief appearances by Brazilian Regis Nunes and Andrzej Saller for Dom Maslach. Marek Biczysko, Jean Phillipe Le Sausse made up the 12.
Jablonski was named man of the match, but Saller put in an almost flawless performance, according to his coach. [25cf] For more club news, log on to www.Polonialondonvc.co.uk