In focus: Ziraat Bank Ankara

Article Sat, Nov 5 2022
Author: Alperen Bakırlıoğlu

Ziraat Bank Ankara started to dominate the tournaments in Türkiye recently, and without a doubt, now they also seek their first #CLVolleyM quarterfinals in their club history.

While their last medal in the national league was in 2015, Ziraat Bank Ankara literally changed the vision entirely a couple of seasons ago, and after winning the Turkish Efeler League trophy in 2021, they also defended their titles last season and once again took the top of the podium. The club also won the Turkish Super Cup last season, and after defeating CEV Cup participant Arkas İzmir, they again became the Super Cup champions this year.

Apart from considerable successes in Türkiye, Ziraat Bank Ankara also received a silver in CEV Cup (2018) and CEV Challenge Cup (2021). Last year, they were on the CEV Champions League Volley, and even though they finished their group as vice-leaders, according to the point ratio, they were not able to reach the quarterfinals.

In the domestic league this season, apart from a shocking loss against Develi in the second week, the club won their matches and currently placed 2nd, just behind another CEV Champions League Volley 2023 participant, undefeated Halkbank Ankara.

The roster of the Ziraat Bank purely has the harmony of the experience and youth. One of the most experienced players of the team, the Turkish setter Arslan ekşi was selected as the MVP of the Efeler Ligi 2022 and Turkish Super Cup 2023, while he was also awarded as the “Best Setter” of the CEV European Golden League 2022.

The Dutch opposite Wouter Ter Maat will also continue to work hard for the club’s success. The “Best Opposite” of the CEV Champions League Volley 2022, according to the Fan All Star Vote will wear the jersey of the capital city team for one more year. Apart from these two experienced players, Turkish middle blocker Faik Samet Güneş and libero Murat Tokgöz will also put a great effort on the court with their maturity.

There are also very promising players in the squad that are worth mentioning. All eyes will certainly be on Martin Atanasov. The “Best Outside Hitter” of the Fan All Star Vote in last year’s edition of the biggest club competition of Europe, was also honored with the same title in the national league last season. With having a quite individually successful summer with the Bulgarian national team, the 26-year-old outside hitter will be one of the biggest attackers on the squad.

In addition, talented Dutch outside hitter Bennie Tuinstra, and one of the most promising middle blockers in Europe, Bedirhan Bülbül, will be on the court not just with their performance but also with their huge energy.

Ziraat Bank will first visit SWD powervolleys Düren in Germany on 9th of November, and host Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia one week after. Will the club continue to improve themselves and receive the biggest success in their history, advance to the quarterfinals in #CLVolleyM?

Watch the Champions League live on EuroVolleyTV.