Croatian volleyball star Mia Jerkov had a very good start in Turkish championship. It was a sign to make an interview with Mia, who returned to Turkey after spending two seasons in Japanese V-League.
Your team had a good start in the Turkish Championship.
“We started our season really good, first with Balkan Cup victory and later with a good start of a championship. I personally don't care too much about the streak, the streak will end and continue again so it just depends on us how we will manage our play every week, it's a long season and we need to get to the end thinking about our quality and not about hurdles on the way. We enjoy our victories and me personally, I like to win so my focus is just to give 100% effort and prepare to win, and most importantly to enjoy what I do. I think we should be proud and happy of what we did so far and the rest will just be things we will work on moving on, regardless of what happens.”
What are the goals of Canakkale for this season?
“Canakkale is a really well organized and balanced club and city also supports the team. There is a general ambition and enthusiasm when it comes to volleyball. First time in the history of the club we are going to be playing major European Cup (Challenge Cup) with already winning Balkan Cup, those are big accomplishments to start with. Now the key is to calmly continue this path and compete. The beauty of sports is that everything is possible but only those that are calm inside can achieve it. I appreciate that the club cherishes the atmosphere where athletes are put in, safe and calm environment and given everything we need to work on the high level.”
Are you satisfied with your performances so far in 2016/2017?
“Personally, I am happy how this season started. I prepared all summer to make transition from Japanese volleyball back to European volleyball and I am truly happy with results so far. Hard work pays off always and I am thankful I have a talent to be able to play and adjust to different leagues. Every year is different and my role is slightly different this year so I am growing and adjusting to it. It’s a challenging process but in a good way, I am happy I can find ways to grow and help the team where I play.”
After two seasons, you have decided to return to the Turkish league. What was the main reason for coming back there?
“I spent 2 years in Japan, and while that experience enriched me in so many ways it also thought me some lessons. There are a couple of factors that went into my decision to move back to Europe but the biggest one was just the willingness to compete on the highest level again. I missed the challenge to compete against the best athletes in the world and I am happy that I get to do that in arguably the best league in the world now.”
According to some social networks, Japanese fans miss you. Do you miss them and Japan?
“It’s hard not to miss Japan, the best thing about Japanese volleyball are the fans. They are simply amazing. The love they have not only for their team, but for volleyball in general. I think we kind of connected on that passion for volleyball and emotion it transpires. In 2 years I learned a lot and my understanding of volleyball and capacity to do different things has remarkably improved. I had some amazing conversations with Japanese national team staff and players and I truly appreciate how we all try to make each other better through competing. However, I just felt after 2 years in Japan and everything I learned there it was a good moment to come back to Europe and enjoy all of this in a new environment. Still if new opportunity comes I will be happy to consider it. In the meantime I will never forget how the whole gymnasium sang Happy Birthday to me and there were fans from 4 different teams present. There is much respect and love between us and probably there will always be because we are on the same side; on the side of volleyball,” says Mia Jerkov at end of the interview for WorldofVolley.
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