Edgar named Volleyroos captain
14 May 2015
VOLLEYBALL: Tom Edgar, the 212cm man mountain considered by many to be one of the most dangerous volleyballers in the world, has been named captain of the Australian team for 2015.
And just by chance, the first game for a proud Edgar as captain will be in front of his home crowd in Brisbane on Friday night, when the Volleyroos play the first of three games against Asian rivals, China.
Edgar is especially thrilled that his family, many who have never seen him play, will be in the crowd on Friday.
“A lot of my aunties and uncles haven’t seen me play live before, so this will be something special,” he said.
“Especially for my Grandma, she’s never actually seen me play live.”
While few Australians outside the volleyball community would know the name Tom Edgar, in volleyball-crazy parts of Europe, South America and Asia the 25-year-old Queenslander is a household name.
Opposing teams fear his power, and often concentrate entire game plans around trying to nullify his influence.
He’s been playing in the top international professional leagues since he was a teenager, including Poland, Italy and Korea.
He played a major role in getting Australia into the 2012 London Olympics, and then into the top division of the prestigious World League at the end of last year.
He was asked to take over the captaincy this year after regular captain, Aidan Zingel, declared himself unavailable.
“It is a great honour,” Edgar said on the eve of the Volleyroos opening match against China.
“I guess not many people get to say they’ve captained their country. Coach (Roberto) Santilli said he liked the energy I brought to the team.”
Edgar was given the chance to captain the Australian team two years ago, but felt then that the timing wasn’t right.
“Back in 2013 the prospect of me taking on the captaincy was raised, but I felt I already had a big enough role in the team, being the Opposite, and I was happy to just lead with my actions,” he said.
“Is it different now? It’s just going to be about maintaining my performance while trying to get the best out of the guys as well, which I was already doing anyway.
“It does change things a little bit. I’ll have to control my actions I guess in some instances. But I think it will be very manageable because we have a lot of older guys in our team who lead as well. So it’s not just one person, it’s a group.”
Friday night will be only the second time Edgar and many of his teammates have played for the Volleyroos in Brisbane.
And as Edgar remembers it, he didn’t see much of the last Brisbane game, against Canada, in 2010.
“I think I was on for about three points for the entire game,” he laughed.
Five years on, and things couldn’t be more different.
“It’s great to play any game for Australia, not just one in front of your home crowd,” he said.
“But to be captain, and to have my family there to watch me in my first game as captain, will be really special.”
Australia will play China at Logan Metro Centre on Friday and Saturday night, before heading to Canberra for game three on Tuesday night.
Australia’s World League campaign kicks off against World number four, Italy, in Adelaide on May 29.
ROSS SOLLY FOR VOLLEYBALL AUSTRALIA