And so, the new volleyball season has started. Last night I went to a game between Budowlani Lodz and one of the top teams in Poland, BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biala. Even though the game wasn’t easy for both teams, Bielsko managed to win in three sets and score important three points. After the game I had a chat with Bielsko’s receiver, Italian-born Elisa Cella.

Przeczytaj ten wywiad po polsku!

JN: First tell me about this huge change in your life: you’ve spent all of your career in Italy, in your home country and now you’re in Poland. Are there any difficulties you have to face? In terms of language for example?
Elisa Cella: Yes, language is the most difficult for me. Ok, everybody speaks English and this is good for me, but I also try to learn some Polish words that I need on the court.

And I suppose it’s also different when it comes to a day to day life. In Italy you just went to the shop and everyone spoke your native language. Here it’s more difficult I guess.
Well in Bielsko there are many shopping centres and it’s usually not a problem there. But, we do have to find time to go shopping, because we practice a lot. However I feel very good. Maybe here it’s colder than in Italy, but for the moment I’m good.

Are there any differences between Polish and Italian leagues?
There’s no doubt Bielsko is a very good club. The coach and everyone from the staff works hard, so I don’t find many differences in that. Everything is very organized.

And how about the size of Polish sports halls? I’ve spoken to some of the players from the Italian Serie A and they pointed out that halls in Italy are usually smaller than in Poland.
Yeah. I think the biggest gym in Italian league belongs to Busto Arsizio with 5000 people capacity. Every match there is full. And this was the first time I played in a hall as big as this one [Atlas Arena]. But I think it’s good. Maybe there are not so many spectators, but you don’t really feel it, because they’re very loud. It’s great here in Poland, people really follow the matches.

Even some of Bielsko’s fans followed you here, to Lodz, and it was quite a long drive for them. It’s admirable.
Definitely. When I looked to the stands and saw them there, I was really happy. Because of bad roads the drive was not very pleasant and it was a 5-6 hour travel. I guess it’s the most important difference. In Italy we have highways and most of the clubs are in the cities more or less close to each other. And so it takes up to three hours to get there. I hope though that in the next games more people can follow us and be there for us. We want to do good to please them.

Yeah, and when you play at home it really feels like you’re at home, because Bielsko’s fans are always very active during the games.
I haven’t seen many venues in Poland yet, but ours is not so big and there are rarely any empty seats. It’s very important to us to win there.

You played beach volleyball for some time and you even came to Poland once…
Yes, I was in Stare Jablonki.

Exactly. So are you taking a break from this, are you planning to come back and play on the sand again?
Three seasons ago I planned to play only beach volleyball, in the national team. But something went wrong then. And last season my partner got married and we had no time for practice. But I love to play beach volley and we plan to play together next summer.

You’re on Twitter and it’s still not very frequent among volleyball players. Do you do it just for fun?
Well, I use Facebook more often than Twitter. I prefer it and it’s more popular in Italy than Twitter. I just want to let my family and friends in Italy know what happened here. It’s like a diary for me. I use those things like a blog, sometimes I upload some pictures. It’s not easy to talk with my family and friends so both Facebook and Twitter help me to communicate with them, to keep in touch.

Thank you for the interview and good luck in the next games!
Thank you!

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Follow Elisa on Twitter!