2017-07-27 21:40:00 CEST
Excitement not pressure the focus for home heroes Ermacora and Pristauz
With thousands upon thousands of fans set to cheer their names on the Red Bull Beach Arena, it’s just as well Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz absolutely love the support.
And with the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 coming as the biggest tournament of their nascent careers, the excitement is already at top level before a ball has even been spiked on home sand.
With Ermacora, 23, and Pristauz-Telsnigg just 21, the Austrian pair make the short trip to Vienna as one of the youngest duos in the competition.
But with the Viennese faithful roaring them on, as they did at the A1 Major Klagenfurt exactly 12 months ago, the opening night could whip up a first-day frenzy for fans and players alike.
Many would think that support would come with pressure. But this pair don’t think about things like that.
“We’ve already had our first look on the Red Bull Beach Arena and it’s amazing how big it is,” said Ermacora.
“When you imagine there will be 10,000 people in the crowd to play in front of and they go wild, we really are looking forward to being here.
“We love to play in front of such a big crowd and we try to use it in our game. We want to develop our game and take it to the next level, in front of such a big crowd we will hope for the best.
“We’ve never played a tournament like this before and experience is so important at this level, it was important for us to compete in front of such a huge crowd, last year.
“Before we played on side courts where there weren’t a lot of spectators.”
Whatever Ermacora and Pristauz result, a Friday evening match against Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera will undoubtedly have fans captivated from first point to last.
For the two it will also provide an occasion even more special, making their World Championships debut alongside hero compatriots Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst.
But when it comes to putting on a show for their packed-out support, this competition will be about more than just making up the numbers for Austria’s youngest beach heroes.
Pristauz said: “We can learn so much from them [Doppler and Horst], especially in practice.
“As a kid I watched them a lot, you look up to them and you can take a lot with you in training and in the tournaments, that’s a great advantage for us to have an experienced team like that.
"We can play on our best level if it’s like that in front of lots of fans.
"We don’t feel the extra pressure because of the crowd, we like to play for them and when they cheer, we get so much energy from them."
You can watch the pair’s debut on the Red Bull Beach Arena live on BeachStream at 7pm CET on Friday. Click here to sign-up!
Could this be your perfect summer job?
Danube Island set for another sandsational beach takeover
Vienna’s silver medalists honored by their home city
In his latest blog, Ben reflects on the World Champs...