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    Bartosz Kurek Returns to Lead Poland’s Volleyball Team for Olympic Season

    In a highly anticipated announcement, the Polish Volleyball Federation revealed its extended squad for the upcoming Olympic season, marking the return of the national team captain Bartosz Kurek and middle blocker Mateusz Bieniek, both of whom missed the latter part of the previous season due to injuries.

    The team’s roster was announced last Friday by coach Nikola Grbić, setting the stage for what promises to be an intense and competitive season leading up to the Olympic Games in Paris. The lineup includes familiar faces such as Jakub Kochanowski, Wilfredo Leon, Kamil Semeniuk, and Paweł Zatorski, all mainstays in the team over recent years.

    In addition to the stalwarts, Grbić has also called up players from Grupa Azoty Zaksy Kędzierzyn-Koźle despite their recent underwhelming club season performance. This list includes Bartosz Bednorz, Marcin Janusz, Łukasz Kaczmarek, and Aleksander Śliwka.

    Perhaps the most notable omission is 2018 World Champion Bartosz Kwolek, currently a standout performer for Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie in the domestic league. On the flip side, the inclusion of debutants Łukasz Usowicz from GKS Katowice, Szymon Jakubiszak from Indykpol AZS Olsztyn, and attacker Bartosz Gomułka from Enei Czarni Radom has added fresh blood to the squad.

    The extended team of 30 players will soon be whittled down as preparations ramp up with the first training camp. Grbić has made it clear that adjustments to the squad could be made throughout the season, suggesting a dynamic approach to team selection as they gear up for their main event—the Paris Olympics.

    The Polish team will commence their season with a friendly match against Germany in Katowice on May 15. This will be followed by the defense of their title at the Nations League, starting May 22. The highlight of their season, the Olympic Games, will run from July 26 to August 11.

    The announced squad is a blend of experience and new talent, with players filling roles across all positions. The setters include Jan Firlej, Marcin Janusz, Marcin Komenda, and Grzegorz Łomacz. The team boasts a strong lineup of receivers such as Bednorz, Fornal, and Leon, alongside middle blockers like Adamczyk, Bieniek, and Kochanowski. The attackers and liberos round out a team that aims to blend tactical versatility with raw power.

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