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Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 13:27 UK

GB coach agrees Greek club deal

GB volleyball team
GB's volleyball teams are hoping to compete at London 2012

Britain's men's coach Harry Brokking has signed a two-year deal at Greek A League club Iraklis to help the British Volleyball Federation's finances.

Brokking, who remains GB coach, says it was a move he had to take following UK Sport's decision last year to slash volleyball's funding by more than 50%.

"Given the funding cuts suffered by our sport, signing a contract in Greece was one way to save money," said Brokking.

"For myself it is good to work with top players in a strong league."

As well as Brokking's move overseas, six British players have agreed to play for Spanish side Tenerife Sur next season.

Andrew Benson, David Hamilton, Joel Miller, Nathan French, Paul Glissov and Ben Pipes will all play on the Canary Isle, joining the likes of Andy Pink, Jason Haldane, Mark Plotyczer, Chris Lamont, Mark McGivern, Sam Bragg and Slawek Master who already play abroad.

"We now have 13 British male players earning their living in professional club volleyball all over Europe," added Brokking.

BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

"This is a great opportunity to have six of our guys training and playing together in Spain in a very professional environment and under a very good coach.

"All of our players need good competition to become stronger and better players, and that is exactly what they will get in a strong Spanish League.

"But it is not the ideal situation. It is a situation forced by the cutting of the funding. To assure a continuous progress of our players and team, we need to get the whole team and staff together at the latest in the summer of 2011."

Brokking's move means he will no longer be based at the BVF's headquarters in Sheffield, leaving Joel Banks to run the development programme leading to the 2012 Olympics in London.

"It is an ideal opportunity for Joel, our British assistant coach, to develop his qualities in leading a full-time programme by ensuring real progress with the Development Group players back in Sheffield."

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see also
GB crash out of volleyball worlds
04 Jan 09 |  Olympics
Sports handed London 2012 budgets
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics

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