The new BUCS season begins on Wednesday 14  October 2015, and as part of the build up to the league, Patrick Kamalu interviewed UKC Men’s Volleyball captain Josh Breese to find out about their preparations.

First of all thank you for your time. Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi InQuire, I’m Josh, I am a third-year drama student and currently the men’s volleyball captain for the second year running.

You captained the men’s side to a fourth place finish in the BUCS league last year. Will you be hoping to surpass that result?

I am positive we can. This year, we are very fortunate to have an external volleyball coach, Miki Fossati, who saw our Varsity game and decided to lend his volleyball experience to both the men’s and women’s team. Miki’s background is brilliant and he knows what we want to achieve so I am confident we can improve as a team and push for a first place finish.

Which universities would you consider to be strong competitors in the league?

Well, all the teams are very good, but some universities, such as Essex, Sheffield Hallam and Bournemouth, specifically emphasise on volleyball as their main sport and therefore have very strong sides. So we have the slight disadvantage in that sense but it is something we will overcome.

What area will you be looking to improve upon within the team?

We’re definitely going to be focusing more on general fitness such as stamina by working on our strength and conditioning. Also, one of Miki’s main focuses is to push the squad to exceed our limitations through training, but also socials, where our team will bond – hopefully, that will show in our upcoming games.

Josh Breese (pictured centre right) during their Varsity game against CCCU – Photo by Team Kent

How much do you think you can learn from the women’s volleyball team here at Kent?

They did really well last year; one of their strongest aspects was their defence which was solid, so the men’s side can learn from them in that sense. They were very fortunate to get some good players in, but a few have left which is always the case each year as people graduate.

How do you hope to maintain the strength of the team in the years to come in that case?

With university volleyball and other sports, no matter how good a player is when they leave, they have gone. And so, if possible, one the things I will want to try and introduce is the creation of an attitude rather than just concentrating on bringing in numerous players. When new people and old alike come into training there will then be a hard-working enthusiasm that can be carried forward.

And you are introducing a new team to volleyball to help with this if I am correct?

Yes, we’re introducing something called the Development Team which is aimed at people who don’t really play volleyball but really want to get involved. This year we are bringing some competitiveness to it, which hopefully will attract people back to the sport and it won’t be under the BUCS, but rather an inter-college league. The aim is that after one year of playing for that team, participants would advance to the main team the following year.

I have one more question. Seeing as you’re also my housemate, have we decided on what time we are pre-drinking tonight?

[Laughter] I think we all agreed on 8:30!

Breese’s volleyball side kick-off their title defence today away to the London School of Economics 1st team at 4:30pm, while the women’s team play the University of Surrey at 4pm.