Interview: Judith Pietersen

Judith Pietersen İdmanocagi

– Let’s start from the very beginning: When and how did you start playing volleyball ?
Some of my family members play volleyball. In the garden at home we played sometimes. When I was about ten years old a friend and me went together to my first volleyball club, Boemerang.

– Go back to how you transferred to Idmanocagi. Of course, it must not be really hard to come to play in the Turkish League but how did you make that decision? How is your season going so far for you?
Turkey always seemed like a really interesting league to me. The level is high. It is great to play here and I think we do really well with Idmanocagi.

– Since you came late to Trabzon, Turkey after the end of the World Championship, you haven’t been here for that long. What are your first impressions about Trabzon and Turkey ?
The first impression was how nice the people in Turkey are. I felt really welcome. The people are great here, open and so kind. I really like the culture. Trabzon is a pretty city, so close to the Black Sea and close to the mountains.

– When we look at  Idmanocagi, you started really good then the team faced difficult times because of injuries etc. How is the team and the atmosphere ? How do you see your chances in the playoffs against top teams like VakıfBank, Fenerbahçe, Eczacıbaşı ?
I am really proud of my team. Last year this team played in the second league. With thanks to Deniz, Gulben, Fulden and Didem we are playing in the first league now. And I think we do so well for the first year. Now we are in the fifth place and we will fight to keep this place. Against VakıfBank, Fenerbahçe and Eczacıbaşı we know that they are favorite, but what we can do is fight as hard as we can and use the chances that we get.

– Your first experience abroad were Germany. How did you feel when you left the Netherlands for the first time ? What was the main reason, that you decided to accept the proposition from a German club ?
Yes, Dresden was my first foreign club. I think after the Dutch league Germany is a really good league to go to. Also the culture is not so different from the Dutch culture, what makes it a little easier for a first year. And they played Champions League, so competing at the highest level as well. I had a great time there, together with my friend Robin de Kruijf.

– In your country, Netherlands, volleyball isn’t very popular sport and the league isn’t very strong. What would you say about the cause of this situation ?
It is not totally true that volleyball is not a popular sport. A lot of people in Holland play volleyball and compete every Saturday through the country. Also when we play with the Dutch team in Holland the atmosphere is great, everyone is wearing orange t-shirts. It is true that the level of the top league went down a little the last years. A lot of good players go to play in foreign countries and there are no foreign players in the league. But I am sure this can also change again over the years.

– Last season you were in Poland, Atom Trefl Sopot and you played against Turkish teams in the European Competitions and Turkey’s NT with Dutch NT many times and now you’re standing on the same side of the net with many Turkish national team players. What were you thinking about them when you crossed their ways and which are you impressions now ?
Yes, I played a lot of times against Turkish teams. I like to compete against Turkish teams, because there is always a good fight. The Turkish national team is strong and the Turkish club teams are strong. I am proud to play in this league myself now and fight together with the Turkish girls, it is really fun.

– Back to national team. The Dutch NT have a new coach, Guidetti Guidetti who works for VakıfBank with Dutch captain Robin de Kruijf. What’s the first view of your new coach? Are you exticed to work with him ?
Yes, I am really happy that he is our coach now. I heard a lot of positive things from girls that worked with him. And he is winning a lot of prices, so I am exited to see the magic.

– On the other hand, you know that the Netherlands will host the European Champions in September and the Dutch NT have very young and experienced players but last summer we have seen that a team fighting till the end of the match. How do you see chances of Dutch NT there, Eurovolley 2015 ? What would you like to say about upcoming national team season ?
We have a very talented group. I am exited to work hard again with these girls again. Everyone is playing in good competitions now. We have a great summer in front of us with the European games in Azerbaijan, the Grand Prix and the European championship in our own country. So I am ready to work hard to get some prices together this summer!

– What is your main motivation which makes you fight on the court ?
To win the match. I don’t like losing.

– What’s your favorite player (or idol) if you have one ?
Caroline Wensink is my cousin. When I grew up she has been a great example for me.

– What are your plans on the future ?
I hope my body allows me to enjoy playing some more years and after I will see. Turn back to Holland, look for a job, we will see what life brings.

– What is your most memorable volleyball moment in your career ?
Actually the time with the youth team is really memorable for me. The first time on big tournaments, the first time playing for your country, all the time with girls from my age. We had a really nice group and I am happy that I can still work with some of those girls in the national team now.

– How do you spend your time when you’re not busy with volleyball ?
Hang out with the girls, make music, study, take a walk by the sea, go to meydan, and of course drink a lot of tea, you have to in Turkey!


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